When you visit Lisbon, don’t forget that Portugal is a monarchy. There are so few monarchies left in the world that you have to grab any opportunity to see a real royal palace. If you already knew that the Portuguese have a royal family, it’s time for you to learn a few details about that family and one of the most interesting attractions, the Royal Palace of Ajuda.
Let’s start with the family. One of the most important people in the country is Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza. He is the Successor to the Crown of Portugal, the future King! The Duke was born in May 15, 1945. Unfortunately, you won’t have a chance, because the Prince is married and has two children. But focus your attention to the more cultural, not romantic side of the family.
Ajuda Palace was planned to be a summerhouse, the construction of which was prolonged for awhile. Finally, the palace was built on the spot of Real Barraca (meaning “the Royal Hut” in English). Real Barraca was burnt down in 1794. The initial architecture belonged to Baroque style, but was later mixed with the styles of Francisco Xavier Fabri and José da Costa e Silva, who were the main architects. The new style was more close to neo classic architecture.
The palace closed down when the Republic of Portugal was established. A whole new life began for it in 1938, when a museum was opened in the palace. The collection mainly consists of beautiful decorative art the history of which starts in 15th century and ends with 20th century art. Sometimes they organize awesome exhibitions that are not limited by any time periods. They can be as modern as ever.
The building itself, on the contrary, is still not completed yer. This is why you should choose the right angles for photos. Just stay near the front of the building, who needs the back? By the way, use this justification only when the back of the building is not that gorgeous. There are so many attractions that need a 4-angle attention.
The palace had a really sad history, in my opinion. It was built to host the royal family, while it hardly ever fulfilled the mission. Today, however, it receives only a few portions glory from time to time. Some of the most important presidential events are hosted in the palace rooms. Sometimes it’s filled with foreign officials, and there might be some crucial decisions taking shape here.
The ticket price is only €10. Having paid this, you get access to the museum and the rooms of the palace. The rooms, in fact, are just as interesting as the museum displays. Some people like the royal furnishing more than royal art.
It wouldn’t do harm to scan through the pictures of royal family members as well. Otherwise, you might miss a real prince or princess in the streets of Lisbon. And that would be the biggest romance ever lost.