"Palace of Queluz and D. Maria I" Day Trips: Tip by J_Antunes

Day Trips:, Lisbon: 95 reviews and 173 photos

  Queluz Palace-picture from benitojuncal,Flickr.com
by J_Antunes
 
 

Queluz Palace was built in the XVIII century to be the summer retreat of D. Pedro de Bragança a member of the royal family. The place was at the time far away from the city center and quite a peaceful place to be. The gold of Brazil was an important source of financing and extravagant buildings were being built in Lisbon and around the city.
In 1755 a huge quake hit the city of Lisbon and destroyed most of it. The reconstruction of the city started soon after by the pragmatic Marquês de Pombal.
The crown was staying in tents in Ajuda district one of the most spared places in Lisbon. The kings were afraid that a new quake would hit town. No quake came but a fire destroyed the royal tents wooden structure in 1794 so a new Palace ought to be built and the first ideas for the Ajuda Palace were put into paper.
By that time Portugal had its first queen, Maria I, that maried Pedro de Bragança that if you remember the beginning was the owner of the Queluz Palace. So a change to this palace was the normal step. D. Pedro lost its bachelor extravaganza and the court won a new royal palace. Queluz became one of the last great rococo buildings in Europe. The palace grew until 1808, with new wings, better gardens and nice rooms. In 1808, Portugal together with Russia refused the blocking of the harbours to England boats demanded by Napolean. Portugal was invaded and the queen fled to Brazil. Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves and the path to the Brazil independence was open. The french didn't capture the queen and their 3 invasions to conquer Portugal failed.
The queen, well she became mad... It was too much for her and her blue royal blood. An earthquake destroyed the palace where she lived all her childhood, a fire the house where she was queen, she had difficulties to get pregnant (she built the estrela church to celebrate her pregancy), she was used by the nobels to get revenge of the Marquês de Pombal, she was kicked from Portugal and forced to live in a far away country, she heard the news of her cousin Marie Anthoinette being decapitated and the american revolution, her first son died, and some say the second in line was gay, she was extremely religious and was haunted by the persecution her father done to the jesuits and some say she suffured from a rare desease called porphiria. She was so religious that people say that one day, when a church was stollen and sacred things spread throughout the floor she decreeted a 9 day mourning period and led a procession throughout Lisbon of penitence.

Today one of the wings is dedicated to accomodate foreign head states. Another is a pousada a charming hotel with a nice restaurant (www.pousadas.pt). The palace itself has lovely interior rooms and gardens quite beautiful. In 1934 there was a fire but the palace was extensively recovered and it is worth a visit.

Address: Queluz
Directions: In IC-19 (road Lisbon-Sintra) turn in the exit Queluz.
Queluz-Belas train station, from Sintra line is the closest stop.

othercontact: www.ippar.pt; http://www.gardenv

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 15, 2009
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