Conde de Ferreira Hospital

The Centro Hospitalar Conde de Ferreira, more commonly known as Hospital Conde de Ferreira, was the first Hospital built in Portugal from the ground up for Psychiatry, in 1883, assuming from the very beginning as an innovative establishment. It has been built in the outskirts of Porto (Rua de Costa Cabral, 1211). However, currently, due to the development of the city is very near to some of the most important facilities and roadways which cross the city such as the Via de Cintura Interna.


This Hospital was only possible to be built thanks to the will of Joaquim Ferreira dos Santos, better known as Conde de Ferreira, due to the fact that he left his enormous fortune to charities, namely the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Porto to which he bequeathed the remainder of his inheritance, destined to found a Hospital of Insane people named after him. It is the first unit built from scratch for psychiatry in Portugal, inaugurated on March 24, 1883. It should be noted that, in 1900, the Hospital housed 520 patients of both sexes, distributed over 14 wards organized by pathologies and by social groups.


This Hospital was of such great importance that some of the most renowned Portuguese psychiatrists made their careers in this hospital namely: António Maria de Sena, Júlio de Matos, Magalhães Lemos.

António Maria de Sena was the first Clinical Director of Hospital Conde de Ferreira. He took office a few days earlier than the official opening on the 3rd March 1883. Due to his travels through Europe where he visited several psychiatric establishments, he was able to carry out an important assistance work, very innovative at the time, and turned Hospital Conde de Ferreira into a center of study and investigation from which distinguished figures emerged, in fact, his disciples, such as Júlio de Matos and Magalhães Lemos. He drew up the first psychiatric law in Portugal, which was baptized with his nickname - Lei Sena - and made official in the royal legislation issued on 4th July 1889.

Júlio de Matos became Director of the Hospital Conde de Ferreira ​​until 1911 when he moved to Lisbon where he was the responsible person for managing the Miguel Bombarda Hospital from 1911 to 1923. Additionally, he was also Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the Lisbon Legal Medicine course. Before moving to Lisbon Júlio de Matos left a great legacy to the Hospital Conde de Ferreira. The library of the Hospital Conde de Ferreira was inaugurated in 1883. However, its organization was possible only, later on, having taken place in 1909, under the responsibility of the then Clinical Director, Júlio de Matos.

Magalhães Lemos, full name António de Sousa Magalhães e Lemos, was born on 18th August 1855. He graduated in Medicine at the Escola Médico-Cirúrgica do Porto in October 1882 and, in June 1883, he was appointed assistant doctor at the Conde de Ferreira Hospital where he was a disciple of António Maria de Sena, the first clinical director of this hospital, later assuming this position as well. The respected neurologist, psychiatrist, and university professor donated his private bookshop to the library of the Centro Hospitalar Conde de Ferreira, further enriching an impressive bibliographic, document, and iconographic collection in the field of Health Sciences, namely in the areas of Psychiatry and Psychology. Magalhães Lemos passed away on July 22, 1931. Porto has paid tribute to his indelible mark, naming a street with his name, very close to the Avenida dos Aliados and to the City Hall.

Hospital Conde de Ferreira still exists nowadays with a mission of assistance, training, and research in the area of Psychiatry and Mental Health, taking care of inpatient and outpatient care, psychiatric patients, with addictive disorders, and dementia.

  • Photos and page layout by António Miguel Santos @ (October 2021)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License