Fronteira Palace

Fronteira Palace

One of the most beautiful 17th-century palaces and gardens in Europe, the Fronteira Palace is located in the Benfica district, on the edge of the Parque Forestal de Monsanto park. The grounds are home to the grandest collection of seventeenth-century “azulejos” (Portuguese tiles) located in their original location. The palace is classified as a national monument and remains the ancestral residence of the Marquis of Fronteira. It is partially open to the public.

History

Fronteira Palace
Around 1670, under the initiative of the second Earl of Torre and the first Marquis of Fronteira Dom João Mascarenhas, along with his wife, oversaw the construction of the palace and the Liberal Arts Terrace. The palace was first constructed as a summer residence. Following the destruction of the family’s residence in central Lisbon by the earthquake of 1755, Fronteira Palace became the main family home. The move precipitated a campaign of enlargement and alterations to the estate. The couple had the panels of azulejos installed, which still adorn the walls and the façades of the palace. They also added the Knights Lake and Kings Gallery to the garden.

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The Palace

The palace is located in a quiet area close to the Monsanto Forest Park, northwest of the Lisbon city centre, in the district of Benfica. Getting there is a twenty-minute stroll from the Jardim Zoológico metro station over a large flyover crossing a major road or riding the #770 bus from Restauradores or outside Lisbon's zoo. What the palace lacks in stature, it makes up in style. Its red exterior is distinctive and impossible to miss.

Although the palace is inhabited, visitors are welcome inside on guided tours on a set timetable. Inside, there is period furniture along with stunning azulejos dating back to the seventeenth century. Inside there many points of interest:
Library
The library holds around 3,000 books dating as far back as the 16th century.
Battle Room
The Battle room contains panels representing scenes from the Portuguese Restoration War. One of them shows D. João de Mascarenhas fighting a Spanish general.
Dining Room
The Dining room is decorated with portraits depicting Portuguese nobility, painted by artists such as Domingos António de Sequeira.
Chapel
The Chapel dates from the late 16th century and is the oldest part of the palace. There's also a souvenir shop managed by the Association of the Friends of the Fronteira Palace.
Fronteira Palace -  Interior

The Gardens

Fronteira Palace
The beautiful gardens cover an area of over five hectares and famous for their azulejo tiles. Various tile panels portray various themes, including hunting, battles, and bible scenes in several artistic styles. Statues and fountains can be found amongst mazes of hedges that represent the four seasons. The formal gardens are surrounded by three short walls covered with panels of azulejos. Two lateral stone staircases lead up to the King's Gallery, where marble heads of Portuguese monarchs stand in a line overlooking the Knights Lake. Built as a smaller parterre next to the King's Gallery is the Venus Garden, where a marble statue of the goddess is surrounded by lush greenery, small trees and shrubs.

The Casa do Fresco is a domed shaped building with serval water fountains and water channels designed to be a place of refuge during hot summer days. Above the Upper Garden is the Tanque dos Pretos where there is a bathing pool and a series of niches that hold ten sculptures representing minor gods from ancient mythology. The gardens at the Fronteira Palace were used in a scene in the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in 1969.

How to Visit

The palace is located in a quiet area close to the Monsanto Forest Park, northwest of the Lisbon centre, in the district of Benfica. Getting there is a twenty-minute stroll from the Jardim Zoológico metro station over a large flyover crossing a major road or riding the #770 bus from Restauradores or outside Lisbon's zoo..

Gardens
Weekdays: 09h30 – 17h00, Saurdays: 09h30 – 13h00, Sunday: CLOSED
Adult: €6.00, Consessionary: €3.00, Child Under 12: FREE

Palace Guided Tours
June - September: 10h30, 11h00, 11h30 & 12h00, Sundays: CLOSED
October to May: 11h00, & 12h00, Sundays: CLOSED
Adult: €12.00, Consessionary: €6.00, Child Under 12: FREE
Fronteira Palace
Getting There
770
Jardim Zoológico metro station - Blue Line
Contact Details
1 Largo Sao Domingos de Benfica, Lisbon 1500-554 Portugal.
38° 44' 24.2"N | 09° 10' 49.6"W | +351 217 782 023
fundacao@fronteira-alorna.pt |  Website