An unfinished work of art

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One of Lisbon’s emblematic buildings is the Palácio da Ajuda in Belém. The construction of the palace, which began in 1796 and lasted until the 19th century, was a project plagued by diverse political, economic and artistic/architectonic problems. And from the original project only half has been built (as shown on the illustration).

Artistically, it was a convergence of the Baroque styles from Palácio e Convento de Mafra (Palace and Convent) very connected to regal authority, with the birth of the Neoclassic style from Italy.

When the Palace finally became a permanent residence of the Royal Family (during the reign of King Luis I and his wife, Maria Pia of Savoy (1861-1889)), their architect, Possidónio da Silva, introduced many aesthetic changes and turned one of the lateral facades into the main entrance. The sumptuous decoration and functionalities of the rooms was defined by the refined taste of Maria Pia of Savoy (Italy).

A worthwhile visit!

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