Palacio da Ajuda

Palacio da Ajuda: A view into daily highlife of the 19th Century

Palacio da Ajuda in Lisbon has a rich history, preserved in a singular way to allow visitors a dive into the royal family way of living, in the 19th century. The Ajuda Palace has preserved its rich interiors and decoration, making it one of the best museums of Portuguese decorative arts of that period.

Almost everyone who had a name in decorative arts of that century is represented in the paintings, the sculptures, the furniture, dinner services and other every-day items displayed in its halls, chambers and rooms. The Ajuda Palace decoration shows not only the particular taste of an historical period, but also the history of the country.

The halls and chambers reflect the tastes of the 19th Century: a fantastic collection of Chinese porcelain displayed in the “Music Room” and all the crystal chandeliers and frescoes on the ceilings illuminating and decorating halls like the “Throne Room”. The Ajuda Palace also displays one of the few remaining intact Royal Dinner Services of porcelain, manufactured in the 19th Century.

The Palacio da Ajuda itself was initiated in 1794, but works were suspended during the French invasion under Napoleon. In fact, it became a never-ending public work, interrupted by the lack of funds, architectural second thoughts and other projects of later Portuguese monarchs, like King Ferdinand II and his Portuguese version of Neuschwanstein, the Palacio da Pena in Sintra.

The Palacio da Ajuda Lisbon area is a bit far from Lisbon downtown, but you can reach it easily taking tram 18, which will take you in a nice ride through Lisbon and then reach the uphill parish of Ajuda and your destination.

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