National Coach Museum



The name Phaeton comes from Greek mythology in which Phaeton son of the Sun god, Helios, was driving his father’s car. The first Phaeton emerged in the second half of the 18th century and there are number of different models. Essentially it is a four-wheel vehicle drawn by a pair of horses lead by its owner. It can be used in the city or in the country. Its body is open, and seats are parallel to the axles. The main seat is that of the driver which has a folding hood. There is a smaller seat in the car to seat the servant to hold the horses while the owner stepped off.


Created in the city of Landau, in Germany, this type of car is sought after because of its elegance and because it can be used in good or bad weather. It comes into use in the second half of the 18th century but it was in the 19th century that it became widespread. It is a ceremonial vehicle. It seats four with two seats facing each other, and has two folding leather hoods that can be completely pulled back or closed at the top, leaving a space for the doors and glass windows that can be lowered on either side. It is an extremely ceremonious Car used in the European Courts and late by the Presidents of the Republic. Smaller versions of the vehicle were built and became known as LANDAULET or DEMILANDAU.


Type of vehicle with no wheels (18th century) descending directly from the roman Letica, which allowed for comfortable, fast travel in the narrow city streets and on long journeys on bad roadways. The body, with two seats, could be open, in Italian style, or closed for colder climates. It was drawn by mules harnessed to the sides of the Litter onto fixed poles. Their widespread use and the level of luxury they reached, forced the kings to regulate their use, making it mandatory to have a license or to have a professional activity that would require constant travel, such as Priests, Doctors or Judges.

Mail Coach

A vehicle for the exclusive purpose of official transportation of mail, in an individual compartment, as well as passengers and luggage. Some coaches had indoor and outdoor seats, could accommodate nine passengers, and luggage. The Mail Coach was introduced in 1798 with a route from Lisbon to Coimbra (which took approximately 40 hours) and the route was only extended to Oporto in 1855. During this period operation of the Mail Coach service was interrupted several times. In the south, from 1830 to 1863 there was a route which connected Aldeia Galega (Montijo) to Badajoz in Spain, taking approximately six days. In Portugal the development of the Mail Coach service, was directly correlated to the existence and the condition of roads, and so it disappeared when the rail way was introduced, especially in the coastal regions. Some coaches were bought by private individuals to be used for long trips, to go to the country and for hunting expeditions.


Is a vehicle that was born in England in the 19th century. It is a four-wheel car which is very comfortable for two passengers and has an additional seat in the front which can take two additional passengers. The body was covered with a folding hood and had a coachman’s seat. It is a vehicle for good weather and short trips. This type of car was widely used in Portugal as a rental vehicle and in fact continues to be used in Sintra, for tourist rides.