Aldeia Típica José Franco – open-air museum of a typical Portuguese village

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Between Ericeira and Mafra lies the village of Sobreiro, where you can discover the open-air museum Aldeia Típica José Franco This museum village is renowned as the typical village founded by José Franco.

The open-air museum is an excellent destination for families with children. Exploring the mini-village, playground, and shops can provide entertainment for several hours, even without children.

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Jose Franco as the Founder of Aldeia Típica

José Franco, the visionary behind Aldeia Típica José Franco, encountered clay at a young age through his mother, a seller of ceramics. After completing elementary school, he pursued training as a potter. In 1945, he conceived the idea of creating a living museum to preserve the traditions and customs of the Mafra region. This museum became his life’s work.

Typical Miniature Village

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The open-air museum offers a glimpse into the typical rural life of the Mafra region, paying homage to the local population and Portugal. The village comprises replicas of workshops, shops, and other buildings as they appeared in the past. The miniature village, existing for over 70 years, is meticulously crafted with flowing water, moving trains, and detailed activities from that era.

During the week, the museum can be bustling with school trips, and on weekends, many families gather here. The third part of the village is new, featuring a castle wall for children to climb, a playground, and a stage for performances.

After visiting Aldeia Típica José Franco, you can indulge in typical Portuguese snacks such as pão com chouriço (warm rolls with chorizo) or salgados (savory pastries). For parents, there is also a small cellar where local wines can be tasted.

Ceramics at a Low Price

For ceramics enthusiasts who choose not to visit the open-air museum, there is a shop filled with pottery supplies near Mafra and Ericeira. You can find a variety of items, including serving bowls, dishes, plates, bowls, cups, and pans. It’s definitely worth browsing around, and you might end up making a purchase. For me, stepping into this store is ‘dangerous’—I always come out with something. The quality is high, and the prices are very reasonable.

Where to Find Aldeia Típica José Franco

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 19:00 | Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00

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