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Lisbon palaces - full day
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Program
If time allows:
We start by XIX century Ajuda palace, one of Europe's most perfect romantic buildings. The façade
in neoclassical style is a contrast with the cozy and romantic interior. Inside, there are luxurious rooms
lined with silk, decorated with porcelain and glass and lit by crystal chandeliers. The Sculpture collection
embodies about four hundred artworks! There’s a huge set of Portuguese and European paintings, but the
most eye-catching is the Furniture collection of several European styles blended with oriental, exotic and
naturalistic influences. Remarkable are also the Portuguese, French, Flemish and Spanish tapestries.
Also worth noting are: the Music Room, the Ball room, the Ambassadors' hall, the most impressive being
the enormous Throne Room corresponding to the entire south wing and the Dining Room with its crystal
chandeliers.

We then stop at Queluz, from the XVIII century, the Versailles-like palace. Used as the summer residence
for royals, it is the country's finest example of Rococo architecture. The rich interior decoration is notable
for the high quality of the craftsmanship. One of the highlights inside is the grandiose but elegant Throne
Room, lined with mirrors and adorned with crystal chandeliers and gilded statues. The Ambassadors' Room
is just as outstanding, with a marble floor and a ceiling painting.
Extensive eighteenth century formal gardens are preserved as a museum also in Rocaille style.
Lisbon palaces tour
Sintra is dominated by the two conical chimneys of the Palácio Nacional da Vila, dating from the XIV century; this is the oldest and the
best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal, where Portuguese kings planned their sea expeditions. It’s the palace of the Portuguese
conquerors, where one can see the curious structure of a medieval construction, with labyrinthine corridors and stairways. It’s also
considered one of the best glazed tiles museums in the Peninsula, displaying a huge variety on its walls from the XV to the XIX centuries.
Some amazing rooms include the Coat-of-arms hall, the Magpies saloon, the Kitchen, the Chapel, among others.

Next is XIX century Pena Palace and its gardens. Pena palace is one of the major expressions of 19th century Romanticism in the world.
The Palace has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of the Romanticism, including the Neo-Gothic, Neo-
Manueline, Islamic, Neo-Renaissance and others. The interior was adapted to serve as the summer residence of the royal family and
features amazing stuccos, painted walls and various tiles.
Built at approximately 500 meters above sea level, it stands on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra, and blends in a surprisingly
fortunate manner with its natural background of greenery and crags and providing a ravishing view.
The Pena Park is a vast forested area completely surrounding the Palace. The exotic taste of the Romanticism was applied to the park as it
was to the palace. The king ordered trees from distant lands to be planted here: North America, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The Mafra National Palace is a monumental Baroque and Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery. This vast complex is among the most
sumptuous Baroque buildings in Portugal and one of the biggest monuments constructed in Europe in the 18th century. The facade is 220
meters long. It has about 1,200 halls and rooms, more than 4,700 doors and windows, and 156 stairways!
Mafra complex encompasses a basilica, the royal majestic palace and a beautiful convent. Its exhibit of exquisite Italian sculptures is
unsurpassed. The magnificent sets of bells, carillons and organs are the finest anywhere.
The gigantic rooms of the royal apartments are furnished with exceptional pieces of 18th century furniture and paintings. Most magnificent
of all is the Library, one of the finest in Europe, decorated with precious marble and exotic wood.
The Tapada Nacional de Mafra, a breathtakingly beautiful wildlife park that adjoins the palace.
 
 
Ajuda royal palace - The statue of king Charles, one of the last kings of Portugal, is in front of the
best royal palace we have in Lisbon, from the beginning of the 19 century, built after all the terrible
earthquakes of Lisbon. It's a palace with a neoclassical facade, as it was fashionable all over Europe,
and near the entrance there is a fine collection of statues made by the school of artists who came to
work here. Although their voluptuousness tells about life inside the walls, they are still too austere,
compared to the coziness of the interior. The interior is appropriate to a period when royal families
used to spend much of their time inside their dwellings. It's a jumble of furniture of different styles
and countries, most of them gifts from several monarchs of Europe. Paintings and portraits of the
royal family match with Spanish and Portuguese tapestries, French, and Italian chandeliers, Chinese
and German porcelain, Portuguese and French furniture, Egyptian, Portuguese and Italian marble
and it all ends in a fantastic dinning room.
Lisbon tour
   
Queluz tour
 
Queluz National Palace is a Portuguese 18th-century palace is one of the last great Rococo buildings
to be designed in Europe. The palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza,
later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet
place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following
Dom Pedro's death in 1786. Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent,
John VI, and his family and remained so until the Royal Family fled to Brazil in 1807 following the
French invasion of Portugal. Work on the palace began in 1747. Despite being far smaller, the palace is
often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.
 
 
Sintra National Palace Further down there is another palace built almost 450 years before Pena Palace.
It has 2 chimneys, 33 meters high each, as inside royal banquets were prepared after the royal chasing,
here in the forests of Sintra. The interior has the oldest collection of glazed tiles in Portugal, made in
the 15 and 16 centuries. It was mostly a summer palace and glazed tiles from different periods keep
rooms cool and work as a museum of tiles in a palace where we can see the curious structure of a
medieval construction. This was the palace where Portuguese kings organized maritime expeditions and
received navigators returning from their trips, like Columbus, Vasco da Gama and many others. They
also came to run away from the plagues in Lisbon in the middle of a luxuriant vegetation and a healthy
mineral water.   This is the most ancient royal palace there is in Portugal and was the summer dwelling
place of the court since the 14 century, because of the coolness and mild temperature of the mountain
during the hot summers and the proximity of the ocean.   
Sintra tour
 
Pena tour
 
Pena National Palace is the oldest palace inspired by European Romanticism. The palace stands on the
top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of
its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th
century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven
Wonders of Portugal. King Ferdinand and Queen Maria II intervened decisively on matters of decoration
and symbolism. Among others, the King suggested vault arches, Medieval and Islamic elements be
included, and he also designed an exquisitely ornate window for the main façade  The palace quickly drew
visitors and became one of Portugal's most visited monuments. Over time the colors of the red and yellow
façades have displayed such a chromatic variety.
 
 
Commonly called «Mafra Convent» includes the Palace, the Monastery, the Library and the
Basilica. The building of the most opponent Portuguese Baroque monument began in 1717, under
the supervision of the German architect Friedrich Ludwig. The works were concluded by 1730.
The façade is about 660 ft long, with the Basilica in the middle and the Palace and the Monastery
on each side. The marble came from the quarries of Pêro Pinheiro and Sintra, the wood from Brazil.
From France, Belgium, Italy and Holland arrived the bells, the statues, the carillons, the silver table
ware and the chandeliers. All this amounts to an enormous building with 880 rooms, 300 cells, 4500
doors and windows, 154 staircases and 29 courtyards. The Royal Palace was a summer residence,
besides lodging the Court during the hunting season. An enormous corridor crosses the palace, giving
access to all its rooms and chambers. The magnificent Library, kept by the friars, has about 36
thousand rare books!
mafra tour
 
 
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