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Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon

The Ajuda Palace was built in the Neo-Classical Style. Though it remained uncompleted since the Portuguese Royal Family had to go into exile in Brazil in 1807, the magnificiently decorated rooms are a must-see. The extraordinary furniture adorned with Meissen China and the gardens overlooking the Tagus River and Lisbon historic centre are breathtaking.

After the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, the Portuguese Royal Family decided to move and settle in the sector of Ajuda. It was the least damaged area of the town hit by the seism. A first wooden edifice, called Real Barraca or Paço de Madeira, was built at the location today occupied by the Palace and destroyed by a fire in 1795. The present Ajuda Palace, constructed in the Neo-Classical Style, remained uncompleted since the Royal Family had to go into exile in Brazil in 1807. It however, became again the royal residence of Luis I when he went to the Portuguese Throne and married the Italian Princess Maria Pia of Savoy.

The western façade, the only part built out of the four that were initially planned, is in calcareous stone and presents a two storeys central body topped by a fronton. The opulent rooms were decorated with a profusion of valuable furniture in the Louis XV and Louis XVI Styles, tapestries after drawings by Goya and by the Gobelins, precious carpets, Sèvres China, statues, some of which by Machado de Castro and paintings by Domingos Antonio Sequeira or Vieira Portuense. 

In the amazing Saxe Room, the furniture is adorned with Meissen China. It is a present from the King of Saxe to the Queen Maria Pia. The large room on the first floor is also impressive with its crystal chandeliers, its allegorical fresco depicting the birth of Joao VI on the ceiling, the Throne Room and Ballroom. In other rooms, you will find a very intimate atmosphere, such as in the Queen's Bedroom and Grand Dining Room. With the abundance of personal objects displayed here, you will have the impression the palace is still inhabited by the sovereigns. The library founded by the Marquis de Pombal and King Luis I's painting workshop is a real must-see. It is in the Neo-Gothic Style with gilt furniture.

Near the palace, you will stroll in the Ajuda Botanical Gardens where the vista over the historic centre of Lisbon and the Tagus River is breathtaking. In the Italian Style, they also  were created by will of the Marquis de Pombal. There are two levels and on a surface of 3.5 acres. Exceptional trees, ponds and box hedges geometrically trimmed around the flowerbeds as well as an elegant 18th century fountain  will draw your attention. From this "Jardim Botânico", it is possible to walk down the Calçada do Galvao leading to the monuments of Belèm, passing by the Church of Memory (Igreja da Memoria) where the Marquis de Pombal rests since 1923.

Ajuda National Palace, Lisbon, Portugal.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/Palacio_Ajuda_Lisboa_7.JPG

The Grand Dining Room, Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Sala_de_Jantar_do_Pa%C3%A7o_da_Ajuda_002.jpg

King Luis I's Bedroom, Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Interior_Pal%C3%A1cio_Nacional_da_Ajuda_006.jpg

Exceptional furniture adorned with Meissen China in the Pink Room, Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Pa%C3%A7o_da_Ajuda_005.jpg

Queen's Bedroom with Napoleon III Furniture. Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Palacio_Ajuda_-_Quarto_da_Rainha.jpg

The Grand Dispatch Room, Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Palacio_Ajuda_-_Grande_Sala_de_Despacho.jpg

King Luis I's Neo-Gothic Painting Workshop, Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Sala_de_Pintura.jpg

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Comments (3)

Another breathe-taking site. I love the paintings on the ceiling.

Ranked #13 in Europe

I felt like royalty while reading your well presented article and viewing your wisely chosen pictures. Thank you.

Ranked #17 in Europe

Thank you my friends for such lovely comments. Roberta, I wish I can take you there one day!

Very best wishes.

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