The Ecomuseu de Barroso is located in Montalegre, small village in the North of Portugal, in a rural mountain area.
The project of the Ecomuseu de Barroso was a great achievement for the Barroso sub-region and its population. The revitalization of old traditions involving not only the aged population but also the young people became so important that the Ecomuseum is now a reference to the population of Barroso. The activities promoted are so diversified and interesting that even small children find the Ecomuseu a place to enjoy, the outdoor activities call people all over the north region of Portugal and Spain. The main building and the representations in other villages have high quality equipment. Their main objectives are: valorise and enhance the heritage and natural resources of the region; innovate and involve the population on the activities; train and cooperate with other organizations; Represent the identity of the region. Originally it was an initiative of the Municipality of Montalegre, supported by the public funds from the government. Along the years, it had the financial support of different programs and initiatives: ON and ON2 (national programs), LEADER II, LEADER+ and INTERREG SUDOE.
Besides the main building, placed on the historical centre of Montalegre, the Municipality also invested in small villages across the Municipality making smaller representations of the Ecomuseum, using themes related to those villages (smuggling, traditional agriculture and cultural activities, nature, etc).

Resources needed

The Ecomuseu has permanent and temporary staff, flexible opening and closing schedules (weekends and holidays). As for financial resource the Ecomuseu has the support of the Municipality, European and national projects and a small store with local products.

Evidence of success

The Ecomuseu of Barroso had over 196361 visitors, in its main building, and the other centers (placed in small villages) around 83731 visitors.

Difficulties encountered

Recovering the buildings for the Ecomuseum and its delegations/centers in the villages has to obey to legal and cultural issues. The delays in the recovering works in the buildings are complicated to manage especially if supported by projects (national or European).

Potential for learning or transfer

The project of the Ecomuseum can be transferred into another reality and country, even if it is completely different region from the Ecomuseu of Barroso.
The Ecomuseum has stimulated the local economy by promoting the local products and handcraft. The Ecomuseum has a shop with local products that is quite successful.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Municipio de Montalegre
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
May 2009
End Date
December 2011


Please login to contact the author.