Although this palace was never completed as planned due to the exile of the royal family in Brazil caused by the French invasion of Portugal, it is still one of Europe's most perfect romantic buildings.
Its interior is richly filled with furniture, tapestries, sculptures and extravagant decorative arts, the result of unprecedented wealth in the 1700s when diamonds were discovered in the then Portuguese colony of Brazil.
Of note is the ceiling in the Winter Garden that was a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt, the Music Room and its precious oriental porcelain from the Ch'ien period, the Ballroom, and the Ambassadors' Room. But the most impressive are the enormous Throne Room corresponding to the entire south wing, and the Dining Room and its crystal chandeliers, silk-covered chairs, and allegory of the birth of King João VI on the frescoed ceiling.
Visitors should also note the interesting collection of clocks throughout the palace and the dinner service that is one of the few European royal services to remain completely intact.
At the main entrance are 23 marble statues, each representing a certain attribute such as generosity and gratitude, and across from the façade is a monument dedicated to King Carlos and a church tower that is all that remains of the demolished Church of Nossa Senhora da Ajuda.
Get FREE admission to the palace and ride Lisbon's metro and buses for free with the Lisboa Card.
Where: Largo da Ajuda
How: Tram 18
When: 10AM - 5PM (Closed Wed.)
Free admission with the Lisboa Card.
Botanical Garden - Beautiful gardens overlooking the river.
Jeronimos Monastery - A World Heritage monument; Vasco da Gama's resting place.
Belem Tower - The city's icon; a symbol of the Age of Discovery.
Discoveries Monument - The world's explorers in stone.
Berardo Museum - World-class collection of modern art.
Coaches Museum - The world's largest collection of magnificent royal coaches.
Maritime Museum - The story of Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration at the sea.
Archaeology Museum - Archaeological finds from over the centuries.
Belem Cultural Center - Modern cultural center with regular exhibitions and events.
Tropical Garden - Beautiful garden with rare plants from around the world.
Belem Palace - The home of Portugal's President.
Memoria Church - Elegant neoclassical church.
25 de Abril Bridge - Golden Gate's twin sister.
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