The Palácio Nacional da Ajuda in Lisbon: the Tuileries of Braganza

REPORTING – The last official residence of the kings of Portugal, the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda displays, in a splendor typical of the end of the 19th centurye century, the likes of King Louis Ier and Queen Maria Pia of Savoy.

Where does that come from? the National Palace of Ajuda evokes a thousand others without being the twin of any? Like its neighbor the Jardim Botânico, founded by the Marquis of Pombal in 1768, it is a balcony on the Tagus, which sits majestically on Heights from the district from which it takes its name, above Belém. But depending on whether one approaches its vast quadrilateral from the east or the west, the impression it gives off changes completely.

On the east side, its long rectilinear facade flanked by square towers, with a central body decorated with columns and surmounted by a pediment, betrays its neoclical style. We cross its arcades and find ourselves under pillared vaults housing statues, which give access to the central courtyard. There is there Caserta, the Bourbon palace in Naples, and even the Viennese Hofburg.

Ajuda: the Tuileries of Lisbon?

On the west side, however, it is a singular modern facade, completed in 2021 after three years of work, which betrays the eventful history of the palace: designed in the last years of…

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