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Lisbon doll hospital


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

In the heart of old Lisbon, there’s a “hospital” that treats patients who are small and fragile, often mangled and battered, and sometimes more than 100 years old.


This rare facility mends the cracked head, broken limb or missing eye of many a child’s favourite toy: Their doll.


The loving care given at Lisbon’s doll hospital has been going on for five generations.

“We have clients from all over the world and all ages. There are museums which ask us to restore pieces, also private collectors, but the vast majority of our clients are individuals: People who are sentimentally attached” to their dolls, says Manuela Cutileiro, 72, the hospital’s owner.



The dolls all have a patient file and are painstakingly restored by the skilled hands of three women “surgeons,” who give them a new body part or hair, chosen from drawers full of pieces of dolls, a macabre collection of heads, limbs and eyes.


The establishment, known as Hospital de Bonecas, was founded in 1830.

Some 4,000 dolls can be found inside. There are 100-year-old dolls with porcelain heads, along with dolls dressed in costumes from different regions of Portugal, as well as some modern Barbies.



“For us a contemporary doll is 20 or 30 years old. The old ones are those which are already centenarians,” says Cutileiro.


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