Do you know this Portuguese Christmas Tradition – “Doll Healing”?



2000px-National-Geographic-Logo.svg.png“Every day people ask if we keep [the] Bride of Chucky,” says Manuela Cutileiro, a certified “doll surgeon” at Hospital de Bonecas.

Established in 1830 in Lisbon’s bustling Praça da Figueira, it’s considered the oldest surviving doll hospital that continues to operate from its original location. Here, dolls of all kinds—plastic, porcelain, metal, wool and fabric—will receive a new lease on life.

To be quite honest – I didn’t know about neither this somehow strange Christmas tradition nor the even stranger ‘Hospital’.


If it were not because I accidentally saw the story in National Geographic, I would probably still live in happy ignorance of this bizarre spooky attraction – The Doll Hospital – or Hospital de Bonecas as the venues real name is. And only 10 minutes walk from Tings?


Doll Hospital, Lisbon (1)

Hidden behind Lisbon’s busy storefronts tucked away off one of its main cobblestone squares Manuela Cutileira gives dolls of all kinds a new lease at her Hospital de Bonecas.


NPR LogoAt a hospital tucked away off one of Lisbon’s main cobblestone squares at Hospital de Bonecas Manuela Cutileira does triage on incoming patients.

First we do a checkup, create a chart and assign a bed number — like you would in an ordinary hospital, Cutileira, the hospital’s owner, explains.

Then we try to figure out what the treatment should be. If it’s a simple procedure, we’ll inform the family right away of the cost. And if it’s something more complicated, they may have to leave the patient here overnight for more tests.

A Portuguese Tradition Of ‘Healing’ Dolls For Christmas


Yesterday I visited the museum. The hospital exceeded all my expectations 🙂

Besides all the weird historical dolls I understood why the dolls hospital is so busy around Christmas. When the Portuguese unpack all their Christmas decoration items a lot of the old Baby Dolls they use for the Baby Jesus in their Christmas Sceneries breaks. The doctors at Hospital de Bonecas knows how to fix them.

Definitely worth a visit – also with kids 🙂



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