The Amphitheatre and the Chemical Laboratory of the Escola Politécnica are a historical and scientific jewel of the city, the country and the University. It is possibly the sole survivor of the greatest teaching and investigation labs from all the European universities.
Its greatness, functionality and elegance have been praised since its construction. At first sight, the Laboratory is relevant for its beauty, singularity and authentic ambience.
From a historical point of view, the evolution of the Chemical Laboratory through time is very relevant for the history of Chemistry and its teaching in Portugal. In addition to the space, which is itself a historical document with an inexplicable value, there is an extensive archive with iconographic documentation that completes and amplifies the importance of the Laboratory as one of the sources for the history of science. Here is where we can find one of the most important European's chemistry collections.
It's the collection-space-archive integration that makes the Laboratory truly unique, allowing countless and rewarding approaches, either for dissemination and teaching of science, or for historical investigation.
Note that Portugal has the privilege of having three historical chemical laboratories:
- Chemical Laboratory. Museu da Ciência, University of Coimbra (18th-century)
- Chemical Laboratory in Escola Politécnica. MUHNAC, University of Lisbon (19th-century)
- Chemical Laboratory Ferreira da Silva. University of Porto (early 20th-century. Still in recovery)