Visit ‘Palace of Independence’ Lisbon & conspiracy Spanish occupation 1640

The beautiful Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence), located in Lisbon close to the Rossio Square (near national theatre D. Maria II ), on the north side of the Largo de São Domingos , is known by two names.

Lisbon Indepence Palaca near Rossio Suqare Entrance

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

It was given its original name of Palácio de Almada in honor of its former owner, the Count of Almada. The name Palácio da Independência (‘Independent Palace’) recalls a curious event that occured in 1640. Philip II of Spain had occupied Portugal in 1580, a year later he was recognized as King of Portugal.

Independence Palace Rossio entrance1 restaurant

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

The loss of some colonies and the intense pressure of taxes levied to finance the Spanish wars led about 60 years later to a conspiracy among several of the Portuguese nobility. On December 1st, 1640 there ensued a successful rebellion, followed by the restoration of Portugal’s independence.

Independence Palace Lisbon near Rossio the conspiracy room

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

About 40 conspirators prepared for the action under the leadership of the Duke of Bragança (or Braganza) in the grounds of this palace.

Lisbon Independence Palace near Rossio garden azulejos

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) & garden Lisbon

The Duke, from who’s grandmother the royal family descended, was crowned João IV, King of Portugal. From a neighboring monastery the nobles reached the palace garden from across part of the old 14th C. city wall and gathered there in a small, isolated pavillion. It has even been suggested that there was an underground path linking the garden with the Baixa along which people could pass unseen.

Independence Palace Rossio garden azulejos 1

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

Beautiful azulejos (tiles) representing the story of the conspiracy

Lisbon Independence Palace near Rossio

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

The building’s foundation stone was laid in 1509 and some of Manueline details from this time can still be detected in the inner courtyard, for example the door decorations. Two conical kitchen chimneys are reminiscent of the royal palace at Sintra.

Independence Palace Lisbon near Rossio kitchen chimneys

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

The Sociedade Historica da Independência de Portugal has its seat in this Palace. This society has awarded itself the task of keeping alive the memory of the happenings of December 1st, 1640 and the general consciousness of Portugal’s national history.

Every year on December 1st official memorial events take place both in the Palácio da Independência and at the nearby square Praça dos Restauradores

Independence Palace Lisbon Ana Maria Proserpio

Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) Lisbon

Ana Maria Proserpio, Directora dos Serviços Culturais (Director of Portuguese Cultural Services). In Ana Maria’s hand the keys of the palace. If you are in Lisbon you can visit the palace .

Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm | Sat. and Sunday is also possible  (visits have a minimum of 5 people).
Price: € 3 per person or € 25 per group.

Palácio da Independência
Largo de São Domingos, 11
1150-320 Lisboa

Phone: 21 324 14 70 Facebook  Email:

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon, former Palace, lovely tiles & fascinating collection

In this wonderful former Palace in Lisbon (Museu-Escola de Artes Decorativas), Museum and school, it’s forbidden to make pictures. After taking a few ones a guard warned me. Suddenly, walking from room to room, 4 guards kept an eye on me …..

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts1

The entrance: ‘Coupé Berlin, 18th Century.

Portugal’s most important furniture collection can be viewed here: valuable wooden Portuguese, French and English furniture dating from the 15th to the 18th C.

You can wander freely from room to room and get right up close to the pieces on display.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts3

The grand staircase leading to 1st floor has lovely tiles.

An on-site collection of tiles (azulejos), several of which originallly pertained to the Palace, while others were integrated therein during the restorations works, in the end of the 1940s.

In the 17th C. former city palace of the Count of Azurara , currently houses the Museum of Decorative Arts. Banker Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, acquired the palace in 1947 and donated his collection to the museum.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts4

Beautiful ceiling and azulejos! Sorry, no more pictures (the guards…).

The museum has a remarkable collection of faience, local silver and ceramics, paintings, bedrooms, dining rooms and dressing rooms. Each room is more ornated than the next, in an aristocratic environment. Anyone interested in decorative arts in general and the Portuguese Empire in particular will find this collection fascinating.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts7

Museum of Decorative Arts, Alfama

Largo das Portas do Sol, 2 . More information, videos and Museum shop  . Near the famous viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol (‘Gates to the Sun’)

Closed: New year’s Day, Easter, May 1st and Christmas (December 25). Cost Adult 4.00, free entrance for children aged 12 or under. Opening hours 10 a.m to 5 a.m. Lovely patio with cafetaria-restaurant.

Café ‘Leitaria A Camponeza’ Lisbon, once a milkshop & Portuguese ‘Art Nouveau’ style

If you look for a nice and quiet café after walking around in the Rossio area in Lisbon, this 100 years old cafe is really worth it to sit down and admire the place !

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza2

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

This is an old-fashioned Leitaria (milkshop), specializing in milk products and pastries, whose blue-tiled walls display bucolic scenes.

Mostly Purtuguese people are drinking a bica (strong coffee) or a tea (chá) while reading a newspaper.

Lisbon Leitaria Camponeza4

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

This house is for over 100 years in the same family: Ana Claudia Diogo (r) and her niece Filipa Indias.

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza7

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

Ana Diogo’s grand grand father, José Domingos Diogo, built this place (pictures of the family are hanging on the wall), from origin a milkshop, in Portuguese ‘Art Nouveau’ style and beautiful tiles (azulejos). The café was recently renovated, but with care….

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza10

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

Chá (tea) in a pot (in style) 1,20 euro. The coffee, cakes, and sandwiches are all good.

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza8

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”

Open from 07:45 – 19:00, closed on Sundays

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza15

Cafe Leitaria ‘A Camponeza’ , Rua dos Sapateiros, 155/157, Lisbon