Portuguese Monuments - Mafra National PalacesteemCreated with Sketch.

in #travelfeed9 months ago

Mafra National Palace

Begun to build on November 17, 1717 the Mafra National Palace is one of the greatest works of Portugal and the Portuguese World.

Ordered by D.João V for the fulfillment of a promise of a son, had as main architect Johann Friedrich Ludwig, João Frederico Ludovice.

Mafra National Palace

Initially the promise that led to its construction was for a convent. Something that was carried through to the end of the project, reaching more than 300 friars. However the idea quickly passed the project when the convent decided to join the Palace.

The idea of the Mafra National Palace was to do something at the Prado Palace of Spain or Versailles of France. Hence the creation of the Gardens, the Tapada, and all the surrounding area that leads to a completely unreal dimension taking into account what existed until then, or even later,in Portugal.

More than 56.000 workers worked on this magnificent creation at the same time, 1383 dying during construction.

Mafra National Palace

The imposing façade with 232 meters immediately shows the unwary visitor the dimension of the so-called "Real Obra". Which can be seen from Sintra, and from which you can see Pena.

There are 37.790m2, 1200 rooms, 4700 doors and windows and 156 courtyards and halls. Added to this are the eight organs of the Basilica, something still unique in the world today.


In the Basilica we also have, in addition to a set of statues and paintings of enormous cultural importance, the first dome erected in Portugal. This dome, the Zimbium, stands 63 meters high, and is visible as are the two bell towers flanking the Basilica tens of kilometers away.

Mafra National Palace

In the two bell towers are a set of 98 bells that form the two Mafra Chimes.

Legend has it that D.João V had sent emissaries to Flanders to buy a Chime the foundry tried to dissuade him by giving an exorbitant price for it.

Outraged at such an idea that he could be dissuaded from having a carillon of this quality D.Joao V would have said, "I didn't suppose it was so cheap, I want two!"


As if everything else were not enough, there is still an ex-libris inside the ex-libris which is the Mafra National Palace, its Library.

It never received all the golden ornaments that were in the project, through the wars of the early nineteenth century, but it remains an architecturally magnificent ensemble, which leads it to be recurrently used to film major film productions.

Mafra National Palace

But even knowing that it is an architectural treasure in itself, the greatest treasure is its content.

Over thirty-six thousand rare books, with many first and second editions, and most valuable, many of the books forbidden by the Inquisition. Due to a Papal permission to that effect, obtained by the King.

Mafra National Palace

Mafra National Palace





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