Dr João Dias Museum

Housed in the buildings of the former Hospital of the Town of Alcoutim, the Dr João Dias Museum was opened on 13th September 2013 and is based on the permanent exhibition about the life and work of the eminent doctor and surgeon João Francisco Dias, which aims to perpetuate his memory and his example as a great benefactor.

This museum fulfils one of the dreams of the community of Alcoutim and represents a convergence of ambitions: the decisive role of the local authority and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Alcoutim, the initiative of the Alcance association, and the readiness of Dr João Dias’s family to provide material for the collection.

In the museum, part of the history of Alcoutim during the first half of the 20th century can be seen, the time when Dr João Dias was alive and practised as a doctor.

A biography illustrated with original documents and a documentary containing the testimony of people connected with the doctor and benefactor (former members of staff, patients and relatives) can be found outside the room where the consultations and operations took place. Finally, many of the medical and surgical instruments and furniture used by Dr João Dias can be seen.

João Francisco Dias (1898-1955)

João Francisco Dias was one of the most prominent figures in the north-eastern Algarve during the first half of the 20th century. He started his professional career in Alcoutim in 1931. He quickly became known in the world of medicine and surgery in a municipality with a very deprived population and far from the medical centres where support could be found. He succeeded in organising a small hospital at the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, where he worked day and night to alleviate the suffering of his patients. His fame extended well beyond local and regional boundaries. Humane and generous, Dr João Dias made his life as a doctor into nothing less than a priesthood.