old Hospital Miguel Bombarda

Hospital Miguel Bombarda has been the most relevant Hospital in Lisbon and in Portugal to provide treatment to people who suffered from mental issues. It has been inaugurated in 1848 and closed its doors on July 5, 2011.

In order to raise awareness among the citizens, the Portuguese TV Channel RTP1 broadcasted a TV Programme called Linha da Frente which went to this Hospital to show how it is. Because if the heritage of this Hospital is not recovered only in the papers there will be a memory of this Hospital.


It shows images of the interior of the Hospital that needs to be repaired. The intention of this TV Programme was to preserve the material memory of this place, namely, to preserve the most relevant buildings because there was a project to make other buildings, real estate buildings due to the fact that it is located near the city centre, but there is the sense and the idea that the most relevant buildings must be preserved, preferably as soon as possible, because they are unique in Portugal such as the Queen D. Amélia Spa


and especially the Panopticon of Hospital Miguel Bombarda whose original author was Joseph Maria Nepomuceno in the year 1896 and represents one of the rare examples of panoptic buildings in the world, a system created in 1787 by the English jurisconsult, Jeremy Bentham.


Due to its originality and beauty, it is a building of exceptional value. It is characterized by the rigorously symmetrical circular plan, influenced by the surveillance system with a tower from a central point, and by the rounded and edgeless design of the surfaces of the seats and door openings.

This Hospital was also known as Hospital de Rilhafoles, as a Convent was set up in this place with the name Convento de Rilhafoles.

One of the most remarkable events that took place in this Hospital is the fact that Professor Doutor António Egas Moniz has performed in this Hospital his first lobotomies.

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