The building of the Cadeia da Relação do Porto began its construction in 1765 after the previous building had noise due to construction failures. This new building was built on neoclassical lines very practical and austere and represents the modernizing urban effort of João de Almada e Melo being its first large civil building.
The chain and court have operated in this building since then until the 20th century, where prisoners such as Zé do Telhado, known Portuguese "Robin Hood", Camilo Castelo Branco and Ana Plácido, lovers who gave rise to Amor de Perdição, by the first, among others. For security reasons, it was deactivated in April 1974, after the revolution, and its prisoners transferred to the prison of Custóias still under construction.
The building underwent renovation work in the last decades of the twentieth century and finally reopened in 2001, already hosting the Portuguese Center of Photography and maintaining the cell where Camilo Castelo Branco was imprisoned. The museum presents a permanent exhibition with unique examples of the cameras between the 19th and 20th centuries, to the latest disposable machines. There is a section dedicated to the former prisoners, and of course, the different parts of the old prison can be seen.