History

JOSÉ COELHO

If teaching was your vocation, archeology was your passion.

José Coelho lived intensely whatever he found, any piece he was offered. He took every opportunity to put together another piece of the puzzle with which he built the discourse of the past.

He was only 15 years old when he started this journey by registering some Christian-era graves in Travassós de Cima, about 5 km from Viseu. After graduation in Lisbon, he made his first major discovery in 1911: the Mamaltar dolmen from Vale de Fachas.

Over more than 50 years, he made many more discoveries, some of them with enormous importance for the knowledge of the regional and national history, which you will be able to know throughout the various spaces of this house.

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The teacher

One of the most admirable aspects of his personality was his attitude towards the way of teaching history, privileging understanding over memorization. In this sense, he took the students to the sites and monuments, showing them the true values ​​of the past in loco, teaching them and instilling in them the feeling of defense of the heritage. It was on one of these visits that José Coelho made, in 1925, one of the most important discoveries of his life: the milestones of Moselos, which you can visit in one of the rooms of this house.

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The man

Born in Travassos de Cima, 7 km from Viseu, on May 5, 1887, José Coelho had a life path guided by three essential axes: investigating the past, protecting heritage and teaching.

After his graduation in 1912, in Historical and Geographic Sciences, at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon, he returned to Viseu, where he was appointed professor at the high school. His dedication to teaching, the way of teaching and his proximity to the students made him appointed Dean in 1919.

He spent a large part of his life investigating the past, searching and studying archaeological remains, reading ancient documents, in an insatiable search for historical truth.

José Coelho was also part of the first municipal council elected after the Proclamation of the Republic in 1914, having had an active participation in the defense of the historical and archaeological heritage.

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The Archaeological Notebooks

Between 1916 and 1968, José Coelho recorded, in 153 small notebooks, thousands and thousands of notes about his research, his studies, the minutes of the letters he wrote, with whom he spoke, who transmitted information about findings and even aspects of your daily and family life.

These notebooks were the basis of his scientific texts, which he published throughout his life, and are an open window to the life and work of José Coelho.

Look on the walls of this house for some of these notebooks, which we share with you, and let yourself be carried away by the fine print, the beautiful drawings, the studies …