Dating back to the 18th century, the Mafra National Palace is Portugal’s most important baroque monument, occupying an area of roughly 40,000 m2.
Its 2 carillons and 6 organs make the church unique in the whole world and its library is considered to be the most beautiful in Portugal, with more than 38,000 volumes. This palace was the official summer residence of the Portuguese royal family until 1910, when Portugal was proclaimed a republic.
The hunting ground known as the Tapada Nacional de Mafra was created in the mid-18th century as a park designed for the private relaxation of the king Dom João V and his court. The Tapada has a great wealth of flora and fauna, including red deer, wild boar, fallow deer, foxes, wolves, partridges and many different species of birds. The woodland is enclosed by a wall and there is a small country tourism hotel housed in the former hunting lodge, as well as two small museums. The grounds may be visited on a special tourist train, on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.
You can also do some archery with either a longbow or crossbow and even go hunting.
Situated very close to Lisbon, this is a most pleasant place for a short trip, combining the beauty of the architecture with that of the vegetation.