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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

The Doll Hospital – Lisbon, Portugal

Established in 1830, Hospital de Bonecas – The Doll Hospital – is a doll restoration shop and museum located in Lisbon’s busy Praça da Figueira market square.

Generations of owners and collectors have relied on The Doll Hospital to maintain their beloved dolls. These experts in repairing dolls and doll clothing specialize in the restoration of vintage dolls but even modern-day Barbies make an occasional appearance at the hospital. Shop owner Manuela Cutileira treats each doll with the same reverence and care regardless of their historical significance.

Cutileira and her family opened the museum to house their personal doll collections. With thousands of dolls on display, it is said to be one of largest doll collections in the world, and offers a unique look at the evolution of dolls through the years.

A visit here may feel a bit macabre. In the repair shop, drawers of extra eyes, limbs, and heads are the norm, while  museum visitors might have a distinct sense of being watched by many sets of eyes. While there is a distinct horror movie vibe to The Doll Hospital, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

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Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.