July 30, 2016

Quarto da Rainha Ajuda Palace

The Quarto da Rainha (Queen's Bedroom) at the Ajuda Palace (Palácio Nacional da Ajuda), in the Belem district of Lisbon is a lavishly decorated room in the Napoleonic style noted for its polar bear rug.

Quarto da Rainha Ajuda Palace.

The room was the bedroom of Dona Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), wife of the Portuguese King Luis I (1838-1889). The royal couple were the first residents of this opulent palace, which was originally planned after the earthquake of 1755. Construction was delayed by the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal in 1807 and the subsequent exile of the Portugal royal family in Brazil.

Quarto da Rainha Ajuda Palace, Lisbon.

Features of the bedroom are the walls done in blue silk with silver decorations, the hardwood bed with canopy and the richly painted ceiling.

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda
Largo da Ajuda
1349-021 Belem, Lisbon
Tel: 21 363 7095

July 29, 2016

Castle of the Moors Sintra

The Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) in Sintra outside Lisbon is an historic fort built by the Moors in the 8th and 9th centuries. The castle was captured by Afonso Henriques (1109-1185) in 1147 and was no longer in use by the 15th century.

Damage to the walls and the chapel on the site (Chapel of São Pedro de Penaferrim) occurred in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the site became a "romantic ruin" during the reign of Don Fernando II (1816-1885) in the 18th century.

Castle of the Moors, Sintra.


There are superb views over the wooded hills of Sintra from its battlements.

Other nearby places of interest include the Estate of Penha Verde (Quinta da Penha Verde), the Gardens of Pena (Parque da Pena) of which the ruined castle is part, the Estate of Regaleira (Quinta da Regaleira), and the Estate of Relógio (Quinta do Relógio).


Castle of the Moors Sintra, Portugal.

The walls of the castle can be walked from Sintra-Vila along Rua Marechal Saldanha. The steep walk is about 2km in total. Alternatively catch a #434 bus from Sintra Station which makes a circuit from Sintra Station via the town center, Castelo dos Mouros and the Palacio Nacional de Sintra.

The Castle of the Moors is open daily from 9.30am-8pm (summer) and 10am-6pm (winter). A combined ticket can be purchased to visit the Castle of the Moors, the National Palace and the Pena Palace.

The stand alone admission fee to the Castle of the Moors is presently 8 Euros.

Castle of the Moors Sintra, Portugal.

Castelo dos Mouros
Estrada da Pena
Parque de Monserrate
Sintra 2710-609
Portugal

July 7, 2016

Camara Municipal do Porto

The Camara Municipal (City Hall) in Porto dates from the 1920's and is located at the top of Aliados Avenue near Trindade Station.

The architect responsible for the building was Correia da Silva, working to an overall concept conceived by English architect and town planner Barry Parker (1867-1947), who was active in both Portugal and Brazil in the early 20th century.

Camara Municipal Porto, Portugal.


The tower of the building rises to 70 metres with a carillon clock in its centre. A staircase with 180 steps leads up to the top of the tower.

The impressive facade is granite with a number of statues by José Sousa Caldas and Henrique Moreira on the top section added as embellishments. The statues represent Porto's various industries such as viticulture and maritime trade.

Altogether the Câmara Municipal do Porto has six floors, a basement and two inner courtyards.

Camara Municipal do Porto, Trindade, Porto.

Due to various delays in construction, the municipal authorities only moved in to the building in 1957.

On the west side of the town hall is a tourist office (turismo) with information on the city in various languages.

Camara Municipal do Porto.


Camara Municipal do Porto
Praça General Humberto Delgado
Porto 4000-172
Tel: 222 097 000

To reach the Camara Municipal do Porto walk south from Trindade Station or north from Aliados Station on the Porto metro.

Camara Municipal do Porto.