Surfing in Portugal - catch the wave!
10 differences between The North and The South (in Portugal)

If you’re sick, this Hospital won’t treat you

It all starts with a checkup, the assigning of a bed number, like any other hospital. However, Hospital de Bonecas is no regular hospital. Founded in 1830 and located in an 18th-century house in Lisbon’s Praça da Figueira, Hospital de Bonecas, or Doll Hospital, fixes kid’s favorite toys and dolls.

Outside, the building — a former schoolhouse — is lined with colorful “azulejos.” Inside, the walls are filled with “body parts” from "organ donor" dolls —arms and legs or blinking glass eyes.

As a frugal alternative to Toys R Us, in the Hospital de Bonecas the care costs start at around $5 and range into the hundreds for repairs on antique collectors' items. The hospital welcomes every patient; teddy bears, dolls, from the old cardboard past the porcelain to the current Barbies, cars, paintings, sacred art and miniature dollhouses.

Everything starts with a general diagnosis, corresponding to a budget, which may vary depending on the material, the location and severity of each disease. Then, the doll is "admitted" and may be subject to plastic surgery (restoration and painting), a transplant (to put legs, heads, and arms), a simple collage or even get a new dress.

Aside from all the dolls that are repaired and sent home, Hospital das Bonecas has one of the largest permanent collections in the world, with hundreds of thousands of dolls: from 19th-century German dolls to collector's edition of Barbies, to some of the oldest known multiethnic dolls from Portugal's former African colonies.



©Hospital das Bonecas

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