Mafra National Palace

The visit to the basilica is free, but the visit to the basilica of Mafra palace and monastery costs 6 euros, with the possibility of paying an additional 5 euros to visit the courtyard and terrace, which makes no sense. Sleep overnight in Mafra to be the first and only visitor to the monastery after 9am – a huge amount of cleaners are needed to keep it spotless. Go through the infirmary, the kitchen, the cells of the monastery and go through an endless list of rooms.

The palace which serves as a Franciscan monastery was built during the reign of King John V (1707-1750) following a vow in 1711 to build a monastery for his wife Queen Mariana [2], which was given to his descendants. The building measures 40,000 m2 and houses a Franciscan monastery with 300 deep fryers, a Campo Santo, an infirmary, an elliptical hall, a capitular, a literary and theatrical hall, stairs and a dining room. It is decorated with several Italian statues, including six historic pipe organs and two carillon, consisting of 98 bells.

When gold and diamonds from the Portuguese colonies arrived in Brazil in abundance, the king changed his plans and announced the construction of a magnificent palace to enlarge the monastery. The construction of the palace was financed from the proceeds of slave labour in Brazil, which mined gold and diamonds in enormous quantities. The palace served as a Franciscan monastery, which was located near the royal hunting ground, and as a second residence of the royal family.

The Mafra Palace was built by the order of King Joao V (1689-1750) in the 18th century to fulfil a promise he had made to bless the heirs of his marriage to Maria Ana of Austria and cure a serious illness in the royal monastery. It is an important baroque monument in Portugal. The Royal Mafra Building is one of the king’s most remarkable works and shows the power and reach of the Portuguese Empire. Construction began in 1717 under King John V of Portugal and ended in 1755.

Mafra Palace is a monumental baroque neoclassical palace and monastery 28 kilometres south of Lisbon. It was built during King John V 1707-1750, following a vow made in 1711 to build a monastery for his wife, Queen Maria Anna of Austria, to give him descendants. The birth of his first daughter, Princess Barbara of Braganza, led to the construction of the palace.

The main façade of the royal building of Mafra was designed by architect Joao Frederico Ludovice. An important mention of the palace can be found in the novel Baltasar Blimunda: Memorial Convento by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago. Like the monastery and the National Palace, it is located in the pleasant town of MAFRA, about 40 kilometres south of Lisbon, and offers a rewarding sightseeing experience.

Construction of the monastery and the national palace of Mafra was begun in 1717 by decree of King Joao V in honor of the birth of his first child, heir and future King Jose I. King Jose founded the Mafras Sculpture School under the direction of the Italian artist Alessandro Giusti (1715-1799). The school is responsible for the altarpieces in the basilica, and GiUSTI also created the famous bust of the king in the palace.

This splendor was only possible thanks to the gold in Brazil, which enabled King Joao V to implement a policy of patronizing and strengthening royal authority. On 7 July 2019, the royal buildings Mafra Palace, Mafra Basilica, Monastery, Cerco, Gardens, Hunting Park and Tapada were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The birth of the first daughter of King John V (1707-1750), Infanta Barbara of Portugal, led to the construction of a palace to serve as a Franciscan monastery.

French and British clubs for their troops during the peninsular war, and today part of the palace is a military academy. This is how I feel after learning all about the Mafra National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Mafras). There’s so much to absorb that I thought I’d enjoy giving you a breakdown of his numbers.

The Tapada (hunting area), which is located 7 km from Mafra Palace and Monastery, the Cerco garden and the Basilica, which are nearby to each other. The tapada served as a hunting ground for the royal family, and one room of the palace is now full of antlers and other hunting utensils. The Cerco Garden is a baroque garden between the palace and the monastery and is open daily.

In the aviary there are a variety of birds, a fountain, a herb garden, a children’s playground and special World Heritage materials. During the day, a bat colony sleeps on the bookshelves in the castle garden. Book-eating pests pose the greatest threat to the 36,000 leather-bound volumes from the 14th to 19th centuries, and it is not just the centimetre-long bats that patrol the library of the Grand Mafra Palace at night.

An extensive restoration of the historic pipe organ began in 1998 in cooperation with foreign experts and was completed in 2010. Since its completion in 1755, the Grand Mafra Palace has cemented its claim as one of the national treasures of Portuguese architecture. In fact, over an area of 40,000 m2, we have implemented remarkable architectural projects and created gaps and remedies.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Palacio Estoril

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