June 30, 2022

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The Bridge Collection in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Humans have been drinking alcohol for about ten million years. That history is on vibrant display at the Bridge Collection, a permanent exhibit of vessels stretching across millennia at the World of Wine museum. 

With its oldest artifact dating back to 7000 B.C., the collection includes goblets, glasses, and cups from regions and eras including the Roman Empire, the Chinese Kangxi Dynasty, and the Mughal Empire. There are pieces that served the important purpose of intoxicating some of history’s most famous figures (such as a glass that belonged to Alexander the Great) and vessels that harken back to an era when drinking came with a side of danger (radioactive glassware, anyone?).

Ultimately, the collection’s 1,800 drinking vessels tell the story of booze’s significance to humanity, from religious ceremonies to celebratory rituals. Anyone feeling inspired to participate in this ancient rite can visit one of Porto’s many wineries nearby.

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