Three outstanding chemistry laboratories have been preserved in Coimbra (18th century),Lisbon (19th century) and Porto (early 20th century), Portugal. As standing examples of European academic heritage, the laboratories are now integrated in museums – the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra (MCUC), the NationalMuseum of Natural History and Science, University of Lisbon (MUHNAC), and the Natural History and Science Museum,University of Porto (MHNC-UP), respectively. They have all been restored and are permanently open to the public, each withan average attendance of 80,000-90,000 visitors per year. Their historic atmosphere and esprit du lieucaptivate the imagination of visitors of all ages and backgrounds, offering extraordinary opportunities for the interpretation ofthe history of chemistry to society, as well as public engagement with contemporary science.
The three Portuguese laboratories enable a journey through almost 300 years of chemistry and science through ‘authentic’ insitu sites separated by 300 km. Although there are certainly very important historic laboratories in Europe, no other countryhas this possibility unless through recreations, dioramas or scenography.
The Laboratories are resources of the research infrastructure PRISC (Portuguese Research Infrastructure of ScientificCollections), integrated in the Portuguese Strategic Roadmap of Research Infrastructures since 2016.