The Palace of Raio (Palácio do Raio) is a Baroque era residence in Braga. It is an example of the late Baroque, early Rococo style of decoration by Portuguese architect André Soares, notable for his influence in the northern Baroque movement.
The construction of this ornate palace was ordered by João Duarte de Faria, a knight of the Order of Christ, who was a rich merchant. In 1760, the staircase was painted. A century later, the residence was acquired by Miguel José Raio, then Viscount of São Lázaro (in 1867), thus, over time, becoming known as the Palace of Raio.
The palace is a two-storey buildings, consisting of several three-doors on the main floor, flanked by ornate framed windows, and the second-floor consisting of several windows and balconies. The roof is topped by a veranda of balusters, with ornate vegetal pinnacles.
Over the main portal, deeply indented, is a sumptuous balcony of balusters, flanked by two decorative sculptures. The lintel over this second-floor balcony is monolithic. Its cornice, which is exceptionally recessed, and crowned by a balustrade consisting of six flaming sculptures, while four blazing amphorae on its flanks over an Ionic pilasters frame.
The main floor is embellished by frames of carved granite, and the outline of the wrought iron balconies. Apart from the main entrance, are two lateral doorways (all of which are painted in complementary blue). While the facade is covered in azulejo tile (and installed in the 19th century), the whole building is built from fine-grained granite. On the landing, the azulejos were likely executed by Bartolomeu Antunes, owing to the different interpretations of the Rococo: one more traditional, from a workshop in Lisbon; and another, which predominates a northern agitation, from Braga.
This residence is considered one of the most important public works of André Soares, presenting a facade that is profusely decorated, where the general symmetry contrasts with the asymmetries introduced by the windows. This is particularly true of the central section.References:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.
The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.