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The Portuguese Versailles: Queluz Palace (Lisbon)

 

Queluz is just six miles from Lisbon. In the early 18th century it was the country setting of the royal family's estate and hunting lodge, which the Prince Dom Pedro, son of King Dom João V, decided to have converted into the Summer Palace.

 

Queluz40TE

The conversion work between 1747 and 1760 was supervised by the architects Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and the Frenchman Robillion, who added a west wing to the initial plan, known as the Robillion Pavilion, and worked on the decoration of the finest spaces such as the Throne Room, the Music Room and the Ambassadors' Room.

The palace, predominantly in the  Rococo style, contains an important collection of decorative art, Portuguese furniture, paintings, carpets, porcelain and tiles. The geometrically designed gardens, too, are very beautiful, surrounding the palace and concealing lakes and sculptures, and in the park there is a tiled canal through which a stream used to flow and where the royal family would take boat trips. The annexes to the main building have been converted into a Pousada.

The palace salons are open to the public for classical music concerts and every Wednesday there are performances by the Portuguese Riding School in the open-air riding arena.

Why not stay over? The Pousada de Queluz - D. Maria I is set  in the clock tower building, next to the National Palace of Queluz and the permanent residence of the royal family from 1794. The building of the Tower is by the architect and staff sergeant Manuel Caetano de Sousa, and served as a warehouse and as the quarters for the staff in service to the palace. Cozinha Velha Restaurant is set in the ancient kitchens of the Palace of Queluz and offers delicious delicacies, according to the most traditional recipes of Portuguese cuisine. Here you will find the ideal environment for a romantic dinner for two, and the strength of character for a successful business lunch.

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