Originally owned by the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo, the Queluz Palace in Sintra is one of the last Rococo buildings designed in Europe. When the Spanish were driven out of Portugal in 1640, the palace was taken over by the Portuguese monarchy and designated as one of the properties for the second son of King Joao V, i.e. Dom Pedro. When Pedro became King Consort to Queen Maria I, he decided to build a summer retreat in Sintra for the monarchy. Construction for what would become known as the "Portuquese Versailles" began in 1747, but was interrupted by the earthquake of 1755 (workers were needed to rebuild Lisbon). Following Dom Pedro's death in 1786, Queen Maria began to slip into deteriorating mental health and took up permanent residence in Queluz to hide her insanity from her subjects. When the French invaded Portugal during 1807, Maria fled to Brazil, where she died in 1816. Beginning in 1826, the Queluz Palace slowly fell out of favor with the Portuquese monarchy. By 1908, it had become the property of the Portuguese state. The palace suffered extensive damage during a 1934 fire. However, it was quickly restored and opened to the public. One wing of the palace, the Pavilion of Dona Maria (built between 1785 and 1792), is used today as a guest house for foreign heads of state.
Portrait of Dom Pedro, builder of the Queluz Palace, and Queen Maria I.
The rococo styled Queluz Palace, faces the town square.
Named after the architect who designed it, the great western wing known as the Robillon Pavilion is reached by "...flights of ingeniously designed graduated steps..." which creates an illusion that the pavilion is longer and higher.
Known as the Salon de Mangos, this hallway is decorated with tiled panels depicting the wealth of the Portuguese colonies.
The music room with a portrait of Maria I over the piano.
One of our favorite rooms in the palace; the Ballroom with its exquisite chandeliers.
In the Hall of Ambassadors, foreign representatives could meet with the Portuguese monarchy.
Dom Pedro was very interested in religious affairs. He had this beautiful chapel built to satisfy his religious fervor.
Dom Pedro and Queen Maria would attend mass here several times each day.
Queen Maria's bedroom.
Dom Pedro's bedroom appears darker and more subdued than the Queen's.
The Pavillion of Dona Maria is used as a guest house for foreign heads of state.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.