Queluz – Portugal’s fancy-pancy palaces I
A wonderful delight, the ultimate palacemania can be found in Portugal.
For the most unusual noble residences I urge you to visit Sintra and its whereabouts.
We started our one-day palaces tour from Belem, our home in Portugal’s capital, with a rented car, to see the National Palace in Sintra, the Palace of Monserrate and to make a stop over for the Palace in Queluz, on the way to Sintra. The distances are pleasantly manageable.
Before we disembark for the residences of people who had way too much money on their hands, I must note that for those financially less blessed, renting a car cheaply in Lisbon does not come easy.
To pick up our car, we ‘traveled’ for two hours and three buses. Sixt, located at the airport, by my research the most competitive car rental, charged us 140 Euros, including full insurance, for two days. That is the cheapest I could find and still amounts to more than twice as much as we paid on Madeira or now, the Canary Island of Gran Canaria.
Back to the palaces of those more fortunate.
Starting with rococo overkill, I admired Portugal’s miniaturised version of Versailles in Queluz.
QUELUZ NATIONAL PALACE
Location: Largo Palácio de Queluz, 2745-191 Queluz. Only about 9 km from Lisbon.
Admission: Our combined ticket for four palaces (Queluz, Monserrate, Sintra and Pena) was 32,50 Euros per person.
Queluz National Palace is a marvel with opulence that screams decadence. A Portuguese queens and kings habitat. To be exact, queen regnant Maria I (1734-1816), also known as The Mad, and her husband Pedro III (1717-1786), also known as her uncle.
The only spoiler remark I have to make about this sight is that they could do without owl and falcon entertainment for tourists. There is no need for wild birds chained to tree stubs (this does not mean I approve of bird cages) and adds nothing but bad taste to the place.
So now, enjoy glimpses of grandeur.
In perfect pink! The summer residence of Dom Pedro de Braganza (before he married queen Maria) was constructed in the rococo peak season of 1747. I can only imagine how nobility’s winter properties must have looked like.
Mad or not, the lady of the house and her husband-uncle did some excellent decoration.
The excellent setting of Flemish-style canals and Portuguese tiles, framed amorous dalliances.
So spectacularly rococo.
Triton and dolphins and saurians wonderfully sculptured.
Fountain. I must have a fountain!
Yes, and some of those manicured labyrinth gardens.
Definitely delightfully odd. The sphinx dressed in posh garb.
Gold and chandeliers in spacious halls, making even The tall One look so small.
The throne room.
How many people were supposed to take seat here?
Overdressed kids must have had a blast running down those corridors.
Pretty azulejo-reminder of the money source.
Love the wall chandeliers, love the mannerist portrait, love the paravan.
This ain’t no picnic. This is dining equipment.
The toilets. Did you think armchair? Ha.
Apart from providing interesting bathrooms, palaces are playgrounds for architectural dreams.
After a long consideration, I think I would like one of those. Must talk to The One. I know he liked this one as well.
Wait, this one has already been sold to the state, but there is more real estate to consider. Next up is a visit to the National Palace in Sintra.