On our visit to the port of Lisbon we had decided to visit the Queluz National Palace, locally known as the Portuguese Palace and being around seven miles from the port we went by a local coach. This rather small 18th century rococo palace on first impressions appeared rather scruffy from the outside when we arrived, and it didn’t improve a great deal on the inside, I can only assume that the doors and window frames were still wearing their original paint. One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe.
Now a history lesson. In 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent John VII, and his family, and remained so until the Royal Family fled to the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal. From 1826, the palace slowly fell from favour with the Portuguese sovereigns. In 1908, it became the property of the state. Following a serious fire in 1934, which gutted the interior, the palace was extensively restored, and today it is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.
We spent some time on our tour of the palace, as you might imagine there were many small rooms and large banquet halls all adorned with many original paintings, an abundance guilt edged mirrors everywhere, and has Florentine marble in almost all the rooms.
The Palace gardens with their Cypress trees , neatly trimmed box hedges, lakes and statues remain as they were laid out 250 years ago. An avenue of huge magnolias forms the approach to the Robillon wing of the palace which overlooks the canal. More than 100 metres long, the walls of the canal are decorated with tiled panels depicting seascapes and other nautical scenes
The town square that the palace faces, "Largo do Palácio de Queluz", remains relatively unaltered since the 18th century. The large houses, once the homes of courtiers, and the former Royal Guard quarters with its campanile are still clustered around the palace. In latter years, the town of Queluz has expanded considerably to become one of the suburbs of Lisbon. The Palace of Queluz is one of Lisbon's many tourist attractions.
The Palace of Queluz, in my opinion is well worth the visit, it must be for our Queen to have stayed there many years ago. Like most attractions these days the presence of a gift shop is almost obligatory and this was no exception. A good day out was had by all – and if your into that sort of thing it’s well worth the visit.