Sanatório Jerónimo de Lacerda


The ‘Sanatório Jerónimo de Lacerda’ is the oldest sanatorium on the Caramulo mountain. It opened its doors in 1922. During the tuberculosis pandemic, patients came here to breathe the fresh air of this amazing mountain.

Caramulo is a village with about a thousand inhabitants, it was built in 1921 and was the first village in the country to have basic sanitation and electricity. At the time the town was famous for its sanatoria, Caramulo housed many. In fact, with 19 sanatoriums, it was the second-largest health resort in Europe. The sanatoria were built by the local lung doctor Jerónimo Lacerda.

The building was initially known as the ‘Grande Hotel do Caramulo’, it was one of the first buildings of this sanatorium resort. It was later known as the ‘Grande Sanatório’ and ‘Sanatório Jerónimo de Lacerda’. The sanatorium was a modern building. For instance, it offered telegraph, telephone, lift, central heating, a cinema, and ballroom. Also, the management of all the other sanatoria was housed here.

However, with the discovery of new treatments, the resort was gradually closed and abandoned. They have suffered a slow decline since the 1960s. The last sanatorium closed its doors in 1986. The old ‘Grande Hotel’ is currently owned by the Lacerda family and is used sporadically for cultural purposes. The photos from the abandoned sanatorium were shot in 2018 during my road trip through Portugal.

Two years after my visit, the complex was torn down to make place for new housing.

Built 1922
Abandoned 1989
Demolished 2020