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Queluz Palace - Historical Building Lisbon - Portugal

Queluz Palace is often referred to as “The Versailles of Portugal,” and it’s easy to see why: the two elaborate, enormous palaces were built around the same time and in a similar style. In fact, French architects were brought in to oversee the design and construction. Queluz, which is located just outside of Lisbon on the way to Sintra, was begun in 1747 by the Crown Prince Dom Pedro and completed a few years later. By 1794, the palace was the official residence of the Portuguese royal family. It is considered one of the best places to see Rococo architecture and art.


The palace is beginning to signs of wear, particularly on the exterior, but it is still a stunning complex, a testament to the kings of old who wielded enormous power. Many of the decorations are not original: the royal family took much with them to Brazil when they relocated there during the Napoleonic wars, and the palace was damaged in a 1934 fire. Still, the opulent, decadent rooms are stunning, the numerous portraits are spellbinding (the Portuguese royal family was a fairly homely lot in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as you can tell from the portraits), and even details such as the royal china is thought-provoking. Naturally, there are many marvelous tiles in different places around the palace.


Some highlights include the throne room, which was also used for banquets and dances, the Ambassadors room with its impressive floors and painted ceiling, and the music room, where one of the best orchestras in Europe performed for the royal family.  Pretty much everything is open to the public, even royal bedrooms. The other rooms are also impressive, containing treasures from around the world. Art at the time was very ornate: there seems hardly an inch of exposed space that is not finely painted, covered in gold or carved into something.


The gardens are just as impressive, featuring well-tended foliage and paths that wind their way around ornate fountains and statues. There is even a small canal, lined with fine tiles, which was used by the royal family for boating.


The palace is still occasionally used for royal functions or visits from foreign dignitaries. Queen Elizabeth II has stayed at the 30-room pavilion of Doña Maria, as have several US presidents.

Lg. do Palácio Nacional
Lisbon, Portugal

Historical Building

Getting There
The palace is located about 15 km away from the older parts of Lisboa. Take a taxi, or on any Lisboa-Sintra (IC 19) bus, tell the driver you want to get off at Queluz and they'll tell you where.

Travel Tips: Plan on about 2 hours to fully enjoy all of the palace rooms and gardens.

Price Description: General Admission €4

Discounts for seniors, youths, and students.

Open Hours from:9:30

Open Hours to:5:00 (gardens open until 6:00)

Days Closed:Tuesday

Contact Information:
Zip: 2745-191
Phone: 2745-191

Here are other activities in and around Lisbon that may be of interest: Sé de Lisboa, Torre de Belém and St George’s Castle.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
20 Sep 2007

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