The art of mending memories: Inside the world’s oldest surviving doll hospital


In the heart of Lisbon, overlooking the lively Praça de Figueira, a hospital with a difference has been restoring dolls from Portugal and the rest of the world since 1830. Priyanka Sacheti pays a visit to this storied Portuguese institution. “These are the plastic surgery rooms,” says Manuela Cutileiro of the two sunlit rooms overlooking the market square.

A long table occupies each of them, with toy dolls in various states of dismemberment lying upon them, waiting to be brought to life again.

“We have a baby Jesus today, he came with a problem with his fingers,” Manuela continues. “The hospital happens to be a poly-trauma unit. We have five doll surgeons here, all of whom have received certification.”


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