Portugal is a country full of surprises and to make it even more inviting we have selected a list of seven palaces that will make you lose your mind. All these palaces are architectonic beauties full of inspirational ornaments.
A fine and elegant palace built in the 18th century, it clearly represents the Baroque era in Portugal. With the name of Nasoni on it, this palace has also got amazing gardens, a chapel, and a winery. On the outside, there is a famous sculpture – John Cutileiro - on the lake since 1981. Near Vila Real, in the North, this palace can be visited all year from 9am to 6pm or 9.30pm, it depends on the months. It’s a great visit because you have the chance to see the interior of the house, where there’s a magnificent library, and take a walk among the gardens.
Palace of Duques de Bragança
A majestic building from the 15th century but which is now different from what it originally was. This palace is found in Guimarães, one of the most historically important Portuguese cities. It used to be the house of the first Dukes of Bragança and, apart from having a medieval architecture, this palace is perfectly located in a modern area in Guimarães. Near this palace, there is also the famed and imposing sculpture of our first King – D. Afonso Henriques. Serving as a military barracks in the 19th century, in the 20th century this palace was perfectly restored and it is now one of the most beautiful buildings in Portugal.
Mafra National Palace
Ornate and impressive, this giant palace is a wonder to whoever visits it. Built in the 18th century, this Palace was also a Royal Convent and it is considered as the most important Baroque building in Portugal. Made from limestone and marble, this palace has also got some interesting works of art by Portuguese and Italian artists, who at the time were linked to the religious scenario. Inside its basilica, there is a marvellous area where you can see six organs and detailed ornaments on the walls. It was opened as a museum in 1911.
Pena National Palace
This romantic palace shall always be a must-see, either by a tourist or by the Portuguese. When you look at it, you may think this palace was built from a pile of different palaces, but that is not true. Located on São Pedro de Penaferrim hill, in Sintra, this national attraction built in the 19th century is a gift for our eyes, either by its magnitude or its beauty. Similar to other palaces, this one also used to be the home of the Portuguese royalty. The King Fernando II wanted the palace to look like an opera and it is still nowadays the most beautiful Portuguese palace representing the Romantic architecture.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace
A fabulous palace from the 17th century with all it deserves. With a beautiful set of gardens, wells, statues and gardens, this palace makes of Sintra an even more romantic place to visit. Classified as a Building of Public Interest in 2002, Quinta da Regaleira was designed under the lights of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, who had the job to create this building among luxurious gardens, lakes and grottoes. Regaleira concentrates four different architectonic styles: Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance and Manueline. So this is indeed a treat for those who appreciate art at its best.
Palace of São Bento
Also known as the Portuguese Parliament, it was built in the 16th century and it has suffered remodelling and now it looks a little bit different from what it used to. However, this fantastic palace was once a monastery for the Benedictines in 1598. In 1834 the Portuguese government installed the parliament there, when the religious orders were abolished and so it was immediately used for governmental purposes. Its façades are impressive with two statues of lions guarding the stairway.
Queluz National Palace
Another baroque and impressive palace, Queluz used to be the royal residence in the 18th century. Located between Lisbon and Sintra, this palace is a mandatory visit for all tourists when they travel to Portugal. Inside the building there is a grandiose room called Throne Room where the royalty used to receive the guests; other fantastic rooms are the Princess’s Apartments, the Chapel, the Music Hall, and the Ambassadors Room. The gardens outside are a treasure full of lakes, fountains, and mythological statues.
Visit Portugal, but also visit these palaces in a marvellous private tour, which are magnanimous and luxuriant.