If you have no idea of the things to do in Lisbon for this weekend, we give you a tip: besides doing a walking tour with us how about visiting the Palácio da Fronteira? A hidden gem in Lisbon, still unknown by many and set near the city rush, but at the same time in a bucolic landscape. We immediately forget we are in the city. We highly recommend it!
Today we are going away from the agitated historical centre of the city and going towards Sao Domingos de Benfica. For those who don’t know, this neighbourhood creates a preconceived idea that there’s nothing interesting to visit. Only 20th century tall buildings with a view of, for some, the cathedral of football – Luz stadium. Wrong! Many don’t imagine that there is still a small patch of history and nature to discover. Leaning next to Calhau Park, a door to the forest of Monsanto, ignoring proudly the passage of time., you find the palace of Marquis of Fronteira.
Built by the order of the First Marquis of Fronteira, D. Joao de Mascarenhas, in the 17th century, it was initially a summer house. After the earthquake of 1755, the house suffered some improvements and got bigger. From then on it became the official residence of the family.
The interior and exterior tiles are remarkable. They set a period of transition between mannerism and baroque. I will tell you which division is my favourite. As soon as you get inside the Battle Room you will be amazed! The tiles represent several victories led by the first Marquis, during the period of Restauration, when we got the independence from the Spanish, back in 1640. The figures appear on the tiles, as if they were Comics’ characters, in a very naive style, perfect to draw a child’s magination who would certainly spend hours inside of the room creating each Battle scene. Some scenes represent some funny situations: British troops, fighting for the Portuguese, hitting the enemy with their rifles, since they ran out of bullets or a poor soldier desperate, caught off guard, fighting as he could, naked…
The other divisions open for visitors are also interesting: the library with a collection of 5000 books from the 18th and 19th centuries, the Arts Room and the Dutch Panels room, with a remarkable and a rich collection of artistic tiles.
And, at last, we arrive at the gardens, listed as the most beautiful in the world.
It is only possible to visit the palace interior with a guiding visit.
Prices: Palace + Garden – 7,5€; Garden – 3€
october till may – monday to saturday: guiding visits at 11:00 and 12:00
june to september – monday to saturday: guiding visits at 10:30, 11:00 and 12:00
It is closed on sundays and holidays