The deed establishing the Fundação da Casa de Mateus dates from 3 December 1970. Under this deed, D. Francisco de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque, 3rd Count of Mangualde, 6th Count of Vila Real and 5th Count de Melo, donated a substantial part of his estate to this institution. His objective in doing so was quite clear: to ensure the preservation of the built heritage and history represented by the Casa de Mateus.
This concern was not unique to the founder: long before his time, over the course of several generations, his forebears had laid the foundations for safeguarding this heritage. D. Francisco astutely adapted this family tradition, matching it to modern reality and laying the foundations for its continuation into the 21st century and future generations.
Today, the Fundação da Casa de Mateus is a dynamic organisation serving the community. It priceless heritage, assembled over the centuries, is now managed as a whole and is accessible to the public. The Fundação da Casa de Mateus is now noted for its role in promoting knowledge and the excellence of its wide range of work, in which the individual and collective efforts of the founder’s family have played a major part.