Living Large: A Walk Through Portugal dos Pequenitos

If you've ever wondered how Gulliver felt in Lilliput, or you want a crash course in portuguese architecture, Portugal dos Pequenitos is for you.

Portugal dos Pequenitos is the kind of roadside attraction you would kick yourself for missing. If you’ve ever wondered how Gulliver felt in Lilliput, or you just want a crash course in the most important architectural elements of Portugal and its former colonies, this is the place for you.

Sure, the park’s over 100 miniature structures are intended for children, but it’s been welcoming all ages, shapes, and sizes since it opened in the summer of 1940. What originally started as itty-bitty examples of typical homes, mills, and chapels of the Trás-os-Montes and Minho regions has grown to encompass so much more.

Ten years after it was opened, this park situated close to Coimbra was expanded to contain some of its more remarkable fixtures: a smattering of heritage sites spanning the width and length of the country, including the islands of the Açores and Madeira as well as the ultramar Português (Portuguese overseas areas, aka former colonies) in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Each of the three main areas is divided by theme — focusing first on crafts and collected items like tools, wood samples, furniture, and more from each of the colonies. After peeking inside these miniature palaces, you come to the only oversized thing in the park: a map of the world featuring the various routes of the discoverers behind a statue of Infante Dom Henrique.

Beyond the map, you enter the second area, which is devoted to the most iconic churches, towers, and feats of design and engineering found in continental Portugal. Naturally, architectural liberties have been taken: aside from being shrunken to less than a third or more of their original size, the buildings of each region have been squashed together to create 3D collages of cultural heritage, all in one structure for a sort of Where’s Waldo of postcard tourist attractions.

Fun fact: The park was founded by the celebrated professor of medicine, dear friend to Salazar, manager of the Coimbra newspaper Pátria, and “one of the most radical figures of republicanism of his time,” Bissaya Barreto, who enlisted the help of architect Cassiano Branco. Barreto was also a central figure in the Republican revolution to found the Estado Novo. A statue of the man — and not a miniaturized version — towers atop a stone pillar in front of the entry gates bearing the phrase, “Façamos felizes as crianças da nossa terra,” or “Let us make the children of our land happy.”

Public Hours
January, February, and October 16 to December 31, 10h – 17h
March – May, and September 16 to October 15, 10h – 19h
June – September 15, 9h – 20h
Closed Christmas Day


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
On Key

Related Posts

Back to School, Maybe

Is Portugal ready to have its kids back in school after the Covid-19 lockdowns? Some teachers think a lot more needs to be done — and many plan to strike over what they think is inadequate support from the government.

Sama Sama 3.0: The Next Wave

Sama Sama – Crêpe and Juice Bar officially opened its doors on May 25th, 2017. Malte Kochen — co-founder, co-designer, co-architect, co-owner, head chef, co-greeter, co-server, ball of energy and

Share your thoughts!


Subscribe to
the Atlas Lisboa Newsletter

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.