Palace re-opens to the public

news: Palace re-opens to the public

Monserrate Palace, one of the finest examples of Portuguese romantic architecture, has re-opened to the public following extensive renovation works.

For decades, the Palace has been closed and abandoned, but now the completion of the first phase of works has restored the façade and resolved structural problems. The renovation work, which began last January, has so far cost 1.3 million euros and has been carried out by Parks of Sintra-Monte da Lua, the municipal firm entrusted with the renovation of the Palace and Monserrate Park.

The second phase, as part of a development over the next three years, aims to restore the interior of the Palace, at an estimated cost of 3.8 million euros. Only a few of the rooms in the Monserrate Palace are currently open on a daily basis to the public, but these brief glimpses are sufficient to give an intimation of its former glory and splendour.

Described as being of exotic, even oriental appearance, the Palace is, in fact, a ‘reproduction’ of an earlier one built in the 18th century. Originally owned by the Mello E Castro family, it was hired out to the English businessman Gerard De Visme in 1790, who ordered the erection of a neo-gothic palace. Later, the English writer, William Beckford, lived in the Palace. In 1856, Francis Cook acquired the property and, together with the architect James Knowles, constructed the existing Palace.