Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa, Portugal

The Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa was built in the early 16th century, by the fourth Duke of Bragança, D. Jaime. The Dukes of Bragança, originally from this city (Bragança) in Northern Portugal, relocated to Vila Viçosa in the 15th century. They moved to the castle on the hilltop but by the early 16th century D. Jaime, the 4th Duke of Bragança, decided he had had enough with the discomfort of living in a medieval castle and decided to have a Palace built.
However, the works that gave the Palace its grandeur and mannerist style that can be seen today, were only carried out in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Palace raised in importance when, in 1640 the 8th Duke of Bragança became the King of Portugal, D, João IV. Much of the finest furniture was taken to Lisbon at this time- and later to Brazil, when the royal family fled the French Invasions- but there are still many pieces of interest to be seen.
The Palace continued to be a place of relaxation and leisure, particularly for the kings of the second half of the 19th century, early 20th century. King D. Carlos, the father of the last king of Portugal D. Manuel II, left from there to Lisbon where he was assassinated, on the 1st of February 1908. The carriage in which he travelled is included in the carriage's exhibition.
With the Republic the Palace was closed but, by will and testament of D. Manuel II, who died without any heirs, the Fundação Casa de Bragança was created and the Palace was opened for public visits.

Opening hours: 10 am to 1 pm // 2 pm to 5 pm (6 pm Jun.-Sep.; closed on Mon. and Tue. morning)
Entrance fee: Palace €7; Armory €3; Chinese Porcelain €2.5; Carriages €3; Treasury €2.5.
How to go: By car.

Photos from the FCB website (no photos are allowed in the palace):


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