Ajuda Palace
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The Ajuda National Palace (Palácio Nacional da Ajuda)

The magnificent Neo-Classical 19th Century royal summer residence stands on the Ajuda hilltop North of Belém and is blessed with incredible views over the river below. The Ajuda National Palace remained the official residence of the Portuguese royal family during the final turbulent years of the monarchy until 1910. The space open to visitors spans two floors: the Ground Floor, where many private chambers are located, and the State Rooms, where gala receptions were held.

History

The Ajuda National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Ajuda)

The Ajuda National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Ajuda)


Plans for building a summer residence outside Lisbon's city walls were first drafted by Dom João V during the early 18th century. Construction didn't start until after the destruction of the royal residence, Paço da Ribeira (Ribeira Palace), in the Terreiro do Paço (Palace Public Square) during the earthquake of 1755. Under the initiative of João's successor, Dom José I, a wooden, earthquake resistant, the Palace was constructed on the grounds first acquired by João V on the Ajuda hill. The resulting Palace was referred to as the Real Barraca, or Royal Hut, tragically burned down in 1794.

The first foundation stones were laid in the following year. Construction never really got started until 1802, only to be thwarted again in 1807 when the royal family fled to Brazil following the French invasion of Portugal. The original designs of Manuel Caetano de Sousa based on Baroque and Rococo styles fell out of fashion and were ditched in the meantime.

More favourable plans were drawn up by Jose da Costa e Silva and Francisco Xavier Fabri. Later additions were overseen by Possidonio da Silva and the building took on a more Neo-Classical appearance. The best artists of the land worked on the palace: Domingos Sequeira, Arcângelo Foschini, Cyriol Wolkmar Machado, Joaquim Machado de Castro and João José de Aguiar, who concentrated mainly on the pictorial and sculptural decorations.

The ill-fated Palace wasn't inhabited until 1861 after the proclamation of King Louis I (1838-1889) and after his marriage to the Princess of Savoy, Dona Maria Pia (1847-1911). The Palace was the epicentre of the Portuguese royal court in the 19th century. Numerous ceremonies and balls were held within the staterooms.

The Palace ceased its role as a royal residence following the proclamation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910. It remained closed until 1968. Since the Palace has reinvented itself as a museum and houses many important collections from the 15th to the 20th century. Mainly of decorative arts. Today Ajuda Palace has undergone much restoration and has also resumed its role of hosting official state ceremonies.

Adjuda Palace: Skip the line tickets


Adjuda Palace

ONLINE TICKET

With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the Adjuda Palace at your leisure. Book with confidence with FREE CANCELLATION Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…


Mad About Lisbon

• The price includes a single entrance to the venue. Tiqets covers the cost of payment processing and provides you with customer service seven days a week.

• It is strictly forbidden to eat and smoke inside the palace

Thursday – Tuesday: 10h00 – 17h00. Wednesday: CLOSED

Adult: €5.00, Consessionary: €2.50, Child 0-12: FREE

Contact Details
Largo da Ajuda 1349-021, Portugal.
38° 42' 27.5"N | 09° 11' 50.9"W | +351 213 637 095
geral@pnajuda.dgpc.pt |  Website

Interior

The Palace's interior is grandiose and full of ornate furniture, tapestries, statues, chandeliers, porcelain and extravagant decorative arts. Kitsch gains made from the riches extracted from Portugal's colonies. Two floors are open to the public that encompass many staterooms and private royal chambers.

GROUND FLOOR

The main entrance is a former guardhouse now transformed into an impressive reception room where you can see 23 marble statues. Each statue representing a certain attribute, such as generosity and gratitude. During the reign of King Luís I and Queen Maria Pia, the audience room was transformed into a large waiting room.

Music Room

Musical events and private renditions between royal members and trusted courtesans took place in the music room. Luís I was a baritone who also played and composed music for the ‘cello. Maria Pia played the piano. From the Music Room onwards and running alongside the western facade, the Ground Floor was reserved for the private royal chambers.

Music Room

Music Room

The Ajuda National Palace - Blue Room

Blue Room

Blue Room
The decorative protocols of fashion in the late 19th century made it essential to have a family living room in the Palace, which had not previously existed. From 1863 to 1865, the Blue Room was completely refurbished, to the Queen’s taste, by the Royal architect, Possidónio Narciso da Silva. The opening of a glass window, with unusual dimensions for the time, meant it was possible to see from one room into another and creating the illusion of a long expanse of space. The strong tone of blue silk was then added, lending the room its name. After dinner, the King would play billiards whilst the ladies adjourned into the blue room.

Marble Room/Winter Garden
Being masters of nature and bringing it inside the house was fashionable in the 19th century and led to the creation of winter gardens. In a highly original manner, this room’s walls and ceiling were lined with alabaster, the gift of the Viceroy of Egypt, used by Possidónio da Silva to carry out the works at the time of the royal marriage in 1862. A place for leisure and relaxation, birthday parties for the princes and royal family, dinners were frequently held here, served on a table set around the Carrara marble fountain.
Queen's Bedroom
In 1861, Luís I ordered silks and furniture from Paris to furnish this room. His choices were influenced by Napoleon III style, very fashionable in Europe at the time. The bed sits against the centre of the main wall, raised on a platform and covered by a canopy. The decoration of the walls and hangings is in blue damask silk and silver thread, in varying patterns.

Dinning Room
The original 1802 palace design had no plan for a dining room. The decoration of this room carried out in the 1880s following the tases of the time; Neo-renaissance. All the chestnut ornamentation is by Leandro Braga. He incorporated fragments of 16th and 17th-century carving, characteristic of 19th-century eclecticism. This family room was used daily. At the State Table sat the King, the Queen, Prince Afonso, the dignitaries in service and, at times, an invited guest.
Dinning Room

Dinning Room

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The Ajuda National Palace - King's Room

King's Room

STATE ROOMS

The State Rooms of the Palace were intended primarily for gala receptions. It houses the Diplomatic Corps Hall, the Throne Hall, King João VI Hall, the Grand Dining Hall, amongst other official reception rooms. The Painting Studio, the Study and the King’s Bedroom set up in 1888, the last year of King Luís’ life on medical advice, are of a private nature.

King's Bedroom
On the advice of his doctor, Luís I moved his bed chambers to the main floor in the last year of his life. He occupied those rooms that had accommodated the Princes Carlos and Afonso during their childhood and adolescence. The King's chambers has several partitions leading to the antechamber, bathroom, office, bedroom and closet.

Queen's Portrait Room
Pride of place on the main wall is a portrait of Maria Pia, at 33, dressed for a formal occasion in blue and white, the colours of the Portuguese monarchy, by Carolus Duran. The seating in the room is of particular historical importance. It was used onboard the Príncipe Real, the ship which took João VI and his retinue to Brazil, after the invasion of Napoleonic forces.
King João VI Hall
In this former ballroom and feature a mural commemorating the King's return from exile in Brazil.

Throne Room
For almost two centuries, this was the Nation’s room to receive the highest representatives. At the arrival of the monarch, musicians would play Hino da Carta, the national anthem at the time. The musicians’ gallery, which is in this room, was taken away during the reign of King Luís and set in the João VI room. The room occupies most of the south wing of the building.

Banquet Room
The impressive Banquet room is still used today for state official dinners of the Presidency of the Republic. Hanging from the richly painted frescoed ceiling is a wealth of crystal chandeliers. It was here that some of the most significant ceremonies of the 19th century took place. Such as the Acclamation of Miguel (1828) and the wedding of King Carlos (1886). The decoration included a profusion of plants and silver, that sparkled in the candlelight. The pieces of gold and silver date from the 17th to the 19th century. They were produced in the best national and European workshops, together with 18th-century Chinese porcelain services, lining the sideboards, clearly display the artistic wealth of the tableware used by the Portuguese Royal Household.
Bonquet Room

Bonquet Room

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Adult: €5.00, Consessionary: €2.50, Child 0-12: FREE, Lisbon Card Lisbon Card FREE

GETTING TO THE AJUDA NATIONAL PALACE


Tram #18E Timetable
727, 729 & 732
Contact Details
Largo da Ajuda 1349-021, Portugal.
38° 42' 27.5"N | 09° 11' 50.9"W | +351 213 637 095
geral@pnajuda.dgpc.pt |  Website

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