Portugal Palàcio de Queluz

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
Palàcio de Queluz (keh-loozh) is known as the Versailles of Portugal. The nobility built extravagant palaces, including Queluz, after the country discovered gold in Brazil (1690). It first served as a hunting lodge and was later converted to the royal summer residence in the late 1700s. The palace is a beautiful example of Rococo architecture which is known for its ornamental style, curves, frescoes, moldings, gold gilding, mirrored glass, and pastel colors. Construction started in 1747 but was put on hold after the Great Earthquake of 1755. Worked started again in 1758 and was completed by 1792. In 1794, the Queen, who was struggling with mental health issues, took up full-time residence at the Palace. The Palace became property of the state in 1908 and is used as Portugal’s official state guest house for foreign dignitaries.

Polished red bricks were used as flooring to give it a more informal appearance as well as to help keep the rooms cooler during the hot summer months. You will see azulejos glazed tiles, stone, wood, and colored marble throughout the palace. The Ballroom, one of the palace’s largest rooms, started out as five rooms.

The Garden’s centerpiece is the Portico dos Cavalinhos. Statuary and fountains are scattered throughout the formal terraces and walkways. The canal runs the length of the garden from north to south. The royal family and their guests would often take gondola rides while listening to chamber musicians playing at the House of Music.

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