The Palace of Queluz is a Portuguese 18th-century palace located at Queluz in the Lisbon District. One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, the palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro's death in 1786. Following the destruction by fire of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent, John VI, and his family and remained so until the Royal Family fled to the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal.

Work on the palace began in 1747 under the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. Despite being far smaller, the palace is often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles. From 1826, the palace slowly fell from favour with the Portuguese sovereigns. In 1908, it became the property of the state. Following a serious fire in 1934, which gutted the interior, the palace was extensively restored, and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.

One wing of the palace, the Pavilion of Dona Maria, built between 1785 and 1792 by the architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa, is now a guest house allocated to foreign heads of state visiting Portugal.

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Founded: 1747
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Portugal

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tetyana Husar (2 years ago)
Beautiful place, a lot to see, not many tourists in February. Oranges in the garden are delicious. Just go and pick it up
Sao Alves C. (2 years ago)
A beautiful place for the History lovers, but not only. The gardens provide an amazing walk among natural and human built wonders. You really can't miss it :)
Susan Marsh (2 years ago)
The Palace and gardens of Queluz are amazing and a must see if in Lisbon. The throne room alone is worth the visit. When you see the pictures of how it was before they started the renovations you can appreciate just how much work has been undertaken. Lots of information in English and lots of parking and a modern coffee shop which extended out onto the Palace terrace. We went on a Sunday afternoon in October and spent about 4 hours there. As i say, a must see and located (by car) about 40 minutes away from Lisbon.
Joe Ng (3 years ago)
If you’ve ever been to Versailles or explored any of the palaces in Austria, then this place will remind you of all your other palace adventures. In terms of scale, don’t expect Versailles, or even Schönbrunn in Vienna. Visit with an open mind and in weather for a stroll outside and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that such an experience was even possible half an hour away from downtown Lisbon. I visited in winter and the mild sunny weather was absolutely enchanting for the final stroll through the gardens at the end of the self-guided tour. There are helpful multimedia guides provided free of charge to give your trip context and appreciation.
David Andrews (3 years ago)
Not one of the most famous tourist attractions but absolutely worth visiting. The place has been restored (still some work going on) and includes period pieces of furniture and art. The grounds are spectacular and it is very relaxing to wander through the palace and the grounds. Without even noticing you learn a lot.
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Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.