A long long time ago… there was a market in this square. A young girl, Carlota, used to sit in front of a shop fixing broken dolls and knitting sweaters for her own. All children would pass by her on their way to the market, leaving the “patients” with her as she was a perfectionist, an artist in what she did. Thus started the Doll Hospital.
“Hospital de Bonecas” opened in 1830 at Praça da Figueira just in the heart of town, but the shop is so tiny it can be easily missed. Inside, they fix mainly dolls: a head or an arm missing and you know where you’re going with that broken Barbie or your once brave but now dismembered Action Man. They’ll do everything they can to take care of your child’s “patients” and in two or three days, they’ll be fully recovered and 100% fine.
Plush toys, dollhouses, fantasy costumes and carnival outfits, miniatures… everything you need for your kids dream world or your own wonderland (not judging here).
There’s also a small but very unique and interesting museum on the upper floor that has everything you would imagine belonged to a Doll’s Hospital: shelves with broken legs, heads separated from their bodies (creepy?), eyes, hands… even the “operation table” where all toys are healed by the “doctors”. It’s the place for all broken dolls and toys of Lisbon’s desperate children.
I wish they opened at night so I could tell you a different story… Muhahaha! (kidding!)