Located just down the hill from Guimarães Castle, the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is a beautifully restored palace that was, at various times, the home to the Dukes of Braganza, a pile of ruins, Antonio Salazar’s Royal Palace, and, since 1910, a National Monument.
It’s hard to imagine that from the 16th century until the 19th century, the original palace was abandoned and left to fall into ruin. In the 19th century, there was a movement to restore the palace, and plans were drawn up to rebuild the palace. Reconstruction was finally begun in 1937 and, after more than two decades, the palace was finally opened in 1959.
Like the Biltmore House in my home state of North Carolina, it gives you a glimpse of the grandeur of the lives of the richest and most powerful people of their times. There are innumerable beautifully furnished spaces throughout the palace. You can spend hours exploring the rooms. There’s even a small museum of modern art in the palace.
This room is an example of the beauty of the palace. The heavy stone and wood construction is juxtaposed against richness of the wonderful tapestries. The beautiful vases are probably three feet tall. It’s a stunning collection of riches.