Queluz National Palace

Queluz 400
Photo by: Husond, Creative Commons

People who always wondered how it was like living in the palace during the times of the royalties’ ages ago can very well take the trip to Queluz National Palace and have a glimpse of what it could have been.

Queluz is in the Municipality of Sintra in the Lisbon District and is known for its marvelous royal palace. Although the town is in a rather unremarkable suburb, exploring the palace alone and seeing Portugal’s finest Rococo architecture is already worth the time and effort.

Queluz National Palace was first built in the 17th century. It served as a manor house for King Pedro II but was eventually transformed into an extravagant palace. Today, it is open to the public while often accommodating guests of the state and some foreign dignitaries. During the summer, it hosts classical music performances as well as equestrian shows.

One of the highlights of the palace is the grandiose throne room. People standing in this room can easily imagine how it was like during the many banquets it had, and how the elegant crystal chandeliers shined hanging from the picturesque architecture of its ceiling. Beyond the throne room is the music room where the orchestra of the queen performed operas and concerts. Another favorite spot in the palace is the royal bedroom. It is a square room with a domed ceiling, spectacular murals of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”, and a floor decoration of exotic woods that give it a circular illusion.

The original kitchen of the palace is now converted into a restaurant called Cozinha Velha. It retains the old stone chimney, vaulted ceilings, and arches. The restaurant is famous for its desserts, many of which are made from the ancient convent recipes. People also love the gardens in the palace and how they are elaborately adorned by statues and fountains with a classical mythology theme.

Queluz National Palace is a real treat if you love traveling back in time.

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