Brasão da FCB

Constitution and aims

Portrait of King Manuel II
King Manuel II – Philipe de Laszlo, 1923

The Fundação da Casa de Bragança was founded at the behest of His Majesty King Manuel II, as stipulated in his will of 20 September 1915. It was established in 1933, one year after his death on 2 July 1932.

The last Portuguese monarch sought to keep the collections and the assets of the House of Bragança intact, so he requested the establishment of various bodies to serve this initial purpose, bequeathing all of his goods to the Museum of the House of Bragança, and thus to "my beloved homeland".

As such, the Portuguese Government passed legislation in order to comply with the King’s wishes. Decree 23240, drafted by the Ministry of Finance, was published in Series I, 266 of the Government Gazette of 21 November 1933, rendering the Foundation legal.

Once it had been constituted, the Foundation required another legal instrument in order to ‘acquire the right of use’ from the two queens, Amélie and Augusta Victoria, and to become fully operational. The Portuguese Government again passed legislation to this effect, publishing Decree 33726, again devised by the Ministry of Finance, in Series I, no. 116 of the Government Gazette of 21 June 1944, which authorised this acquisition, together with a loan to the Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Crédito e Previdência for this purpose. This loan was made out for 20 years and was fully paid off in 1964.

The decrees also provided for the constitution of the Junta da Casa de Bragança committee and its Administrative Council, which oversee the aims of the Foundation as a private and exclusively Portuguese body.

In addition, according to Decree 38848 of 4 August 1952, a duly justified unanimous decision by the Junta da Casa de Bragança would allow this body to ‘carry out any actions that are appropriate by virtue of the historical nature of the Fundação da Casa de Bragança’.

The aims of the Foundation essentially arise from the aforementioned Decree 23240, which states that the Foundation shall consist of:

a) the museum and library of the House of Bragança, located at the Palace of Vila Viçosa;

b) the King Carlos I Agricultural School, located in Vendas Novas;

c) a fund, the proceeds of which will be invested for Portuguese charity and public utility institutions, in particular the Misericórdia de Vila Viçosa.

The Foundation was deemed to be a collective person of public interest by order of the Prime Minister on 12 July 1982, published in Series II of the Official Gazette on 23 July 1982 under Articles 2 and 3 of Decree 460/77 of 7 November 1982. The status of public utility was confirmed by Order no. 1734/2013 of the Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, published in the Official Gazette no. 21, Series II, Part C, on 30 January 2013.


Door of the Knots
Door of the Knots

The highest body within the Foundation is the Junta da Casa de Bragança, a committee made up of seven members, with its president appointed by the Ministry of Finance, as proposed by the Junta, and the other members approved by the Ministry of Finance, again as proposed by the Junta.

The Junta is essentially responsible for defining the general guidelines for the Foundation’s activities, appointing the members of the Administrative Council and, of those members, selecting one to perform the duties of the president, and appraising and reviewing the annual accounts. In appraising the accounts, the auditing services of a certified public accountant is required, as set out in the regulation approved by the Secretary of State for the Budget on 3 February 1986.

The Administrative Council is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Foundation and drawing up an Annual Report, to be submitted to the Junta da Casa de Bragança for appraisal.

After the Annual Report has been approved by the Junta, it is sent on to the President of the Council of Ministers.

The Foundation operates out of its Head Office at the Massarelos Palace (Estrada da Gibalta, Caxias) , and also operates various services at the following addresses:

Library-Museum: Ducal Palace – Terreiro do Paço and Vila Viçosa Castle

Vila Viçosa Office: Paço do Bispo – Terreiro do Paço, Vila Viçosa

Vendas Novas Office: Quinta do Pessegueiro, Vendas Novas