National palace in Queluz Lisbon: 18th-century Rococo style, Portuguese kings, Secret Histories, queen Carlota Joaquina & sexual orgies

The National Palace in Queluz is one of Lisbon’s top tourist attractions, easy to reach by train from Lisbon or from Sintra. From outside the palace looks romantic, but what happened behind these walls when the Portuguese royal family lived here, about 200 years ago?

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district & wonderful French-styled garden

History of Portugal & exorbitant decorated rooms in Rococo style 

While walking around in the many exorbitant decorated rooms of the National Palace in Queluz (Palácio in Portuguese , you realize that a ‘one afternoon’ visit is too short. Each room represents a piece of history of Portugal, as well as of Brazil. The information in English is quite basic, unfortunately. In case you don’t like a group tour guide: there’s real good info at f.i. Wikipedia.

National Palace in Queluz & Robillion staircase: ingeniously designed steps adorned with statuary

Discovery of Brazilian gold & the wealth of Portuguese colonies

Queluz’s Palace architecture is representative of the final extravagant period of Portuguese culture that followed the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690.

The National Palace in Queluz & YouTube video: an impression

Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 till 1822; nowadays the Portuguese is still the language of the majority of people in Brazil.

National Palace in Queluz & one of the 2 sphynxes dressed in 18th-century costume

Foreign artists, architects & newly enriched aristocracy

From the beginning of the 18th century many foreign artists and architects were employed in Portugal to satisfy the needs of the newly enriched aristocracy; they brought with them classical ideas of architecture which derived from the Renaissance.

In its design, Queluz is a revolt against the earlier, heavier, Italian-influenced Baroque which preceded the Rococo style throughout Europe.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon, the ballroom & some tourists , June 2017

Royal residence from 1794 – 1807 & Queen Maria I : a very sad story

Dom Pedro III started the construction of the Palácio de Queluz in 1747.  He married his 17 years younger niece D. Maria, Princess of Brazil, (1734-1816) in 1760. The couple had a happy marriage and they got six children.

But queen Maria suffered from religious mania and melancholia. This acute mental illness (perhaps due to porphyria) made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1792.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & “Sala de Mangas” (Japonese drawings) decorated with tile panels (azulejos) illustrating the wealth of Portugal’s colonies

1794: Ajuda Palace destroyed by fire 

When the palace of Ajuda burnt down in 1794, the court was forced to move to the Queluz Palace, where the ill queen Maria would lie in her apartments all day. Visitors would complain of terrible screams that would echo throughout the palace. Her condition worsened after the death of her husband and the deaths from smallpox of her elder son and her daughter and their infant son. Maria died in Rio de Janeiro, aged 82. More……

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & one of the excessive decorated rooms

The juicy story about Queen Carlota Joaquina (‘the fury’ of Queluz)

Queen Maria’s second son João (John, nicknamed ‘the Clement‘), took over the government in her name. In 1816, he succeeded his mother as monarch of the Portuguese Empire .
On May 8, 1785 Carlota Joaquina (1775 – 1830) of Spain was officially married to the future king João VI. The marriage was not consummated until 9 January 1790, when Carlota was 15 years old.

Doña Carlota Joaquina of Spain (Carlota Joaquina de Borbón y Borbón-Parma). Picture: Wikipedia

Marriage Joaquina Carlota with corpulent João (John) VI & the miracle of nine handsome children

Joaquina’s husband was good-natured, indolent, corpulent and almost as ugly as she was. His religious observances bored her, and they were quite incompatible. Nevertheless, she gave birth to nine children and, because they were all handsome, it was rumoured that especially the younger ones had a different father.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & the empire bedroom

Sexual orgies 

After the birth of the ninth child the couple began to live separate lives. It was rumoured that Joaquina had bought a retreat where she indulged in sexual orgies. Source: Vortex magazine, WikiPedia

Several Movies and TV series have been made about Carlota Joaquina‘s life. She had a bad reputation: infidel, manipulative and nymphomaniac. Carlota was religious, faced men and also transgressed the social norms of the time, which caused her to have many conflicts, also with the Portuguese authorities.

Movie trailer YouTube (English spoken) Carlota Joaquina Princesa do Brazil

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & “Sala de Mangas” decorated with beautiful tile panels

Napoleon Bonaparte & transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil in 1807

Anticipating the invasion of Napoleon’s army, Joaquina’s husband João VI ordered the transfer of the Portuguese royal court to Brazil before he could be deposed.

Carlota Joaquina fought until the last minute not to leave for Brazil, asked for help from her parents, but diplomatic agreements made it difficult for Spanish kings to participate in Portuguese affairs.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & entrance restaurant June 2017

Carlota Joaquina & caipirinha, Brazilian’s famous cocktail

Caipirinha is the national drink in Brasil and also very popular in Portugal. It is said that Carlota Joaquina invented the drink when she lived in Brazil, mixing her beloved Cachaça liquor (a spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice) with fruit and sugar. Supposedly, she drank incredible quantities of the liquor, and the palace had to order dozens of bottles for her each month.

Delicious! Caipirinha Recipe (and video)

Ingredients of the caipirinha. Picture: Wikipedia

‘Secret Histories of Portuguese kings’

“The nymphomaniac wife of King João VI, Carlota Joaquina, will have been the ‘inventor of caipirinha“, according to writer and journalist Alexandre Borges. Book: ‘Histórias Secretas de Reis Portugueses’ (‘Secret Histories of Portuguese Kings’), in a new edition.

As the Napoleon wars ended, Carlota returned with the king and the family to Portugal in 1821. She died at the Queluz Palace in 1830 at the age of 54.  It is speculated whether she died because of natural causes or whether she, in fact, killed herself.

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district

On the assassination Carlos I in 1908, the palace passed into the ownership of the state. Portugal was in the turmoil of revolution and the monarchy fell two years later.  Since 1940 it has been open to the public as a museum.

Worth a visit!

Short- time rentals, 5 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 in Mouraria: my 3-bedroom authentic apartment with lovely patio, 100 m2

 

Prices, opening times & how to get to the Palace in Queluz from Lisbon

  • Location: Largo do Palácio, Queluz, Portugal
  • Open everyday, except main public holidays, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. my experience: during luchtime (12:00 – 14:00) there are not many visitors
  • Palace and Gardens 5 €, Gardens 3.5 € (over 65 yrs.) 10 € adult. More info
  • Train: Lisbon-Sintra line, get off at Queluz/Belas (ca. 1 km walk to the Palace, easy to find)

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district

More….

Park Eduard VII Lisbon, Greenhouse (Estufa Fria): exotic tropical flora, children’s park & tasty lunch at Central Parque Kiosk

Park Eduard VII in Lisbon is popular: people from all over the world make amazing photos from the top of the park. It is also really worth it to visit the Greenhouse at the end of the park and the kiosk with a terrace where you can enjoy your coffee or lunch. Great place for families with children!

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Lisbon Greenhouse & Estufa Fria (litt. the Cold House), November 2016

Wonderful atmosphere

The Estufa Fria de Lisboa is an eight hectare greenhouse that was erected in 1933 by architect Raul Carapinha, located in Eduardo VII Park, one of the most important parks that exist in the city. It is one of the most visited sites, by both students and tourists. MAP
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Lisbon Greenhouse & Estufa Fria (litt. the Cold House), November 2016
The Greenhouse, initially thought out as a place to simply shelter various types of plants, it has become one of the most pleasant green spaces in Lisbon, where you can spend a few enjoyable hours between lakes, waterfalls, brooks, statues and hundreds of different plant specimens from all over the world. A place that gives its visitors a sense of tranquility and well being.

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Lisbon Greenhouse & Estufa Fria, November 2016

Lisbon Greenhouse & three different areas

This Greenhouse is managed by the Lisbon City Council and is divided into three different areas: (Estufa Fria), litt. the cold house, without heating system; Estufa Quente (the Hot House), with glass dome, and the smaller Estufa Doce, (Sweet House), where cactusses are grown.

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Lisbon Greenhouse & Estufa Fria (the Cold House), November 2016

The Greenhouse’s history

The Estufa Fria started being planted in 1910, as a part of the urban plan of the Park Eduaro VII. In 1975 the ‘Hothouse’ and the ‘Sweet House’ were open to the public. These new exhibitions had tropical and equatorial plants on permanent display.

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Wonderful! Lisbon Greenhouse & Estufa Fria (the Cold House), November 2016

Tickets

Adults: € 3,10, children and teenagers (6/18): € 2,33, students, pensioners: € 1,55. More information…. WEBSITE  Estufa Fria (source)  Facebook

Location: Estufa Fria de Lisboa, Parque Eduardo VII Lisbon

Open: in summertime from 10:00-19:00, wintertime 10:00-17:00. More….

Small lake near the Greenhouse in Park Eduard VII Lisbon & friend Margarethe de Vrieze

Lovely lake with ducks and geese 

Walking out of the Estufa Fria Greenhouse there’s a lake with ducks and geese and a kiosk with a terrace where you can enjoy your coffee or lunch. A lovely and quiet place, also for kids.

Lunch at Central Parque Quiosque, near the Greenhouse, Park Eduard VII Lisbon september 2017

Central Parque Quiosque & tasty lunch 

This is not the first time we went here for lunch, because my friends Alexandra Tops and Margarethe de Vrieze recommended this lovely place in the park where you can order good food for affordable prices.

Lunch at Central Parque Quiosque, near the Greenhouse, Park Eduard VII Lisbon

Ideal place for families with children (they sell pizzas and icecream 🙂 )

Great place under the umbrellas for a drink while the kids play. The kiosk is located next to the Children’s Park.

Our lunch: amondegas de atum (tuna fish, feta cheese) 8 €; salad with mozzarela e tomates 8 €; tosta e frango (toasted bread with chicken) 5.50 € ; glass of white wine 3.50 €; bottle of water 1.20 €.

Very nice staff & relaxed atmosphere! Jessica Tribolet, Francisco Varela and Santos

Central Parque Quiosque , Park Eduard VII Lisbon
Open: every day from 10:00 – 20:00
Wifi available. Facebook

The wonderful building Pavilhão Carlos Lopes is also located in this park.

The building reopened in February 2017, after extensive remodeling work and is now a large, pleasant space with lovely azulejos tile work on its interior and exterior walls.

Famous Portuguese long-distance runner Carlos Lopes

The pavilion is a venue for temporary exhibitions, while a small permanent exhibition on Carlos Lopes displays the great runner’s trophies and equipment, including the shoes he wore during the Los Angeles Olympic marathon in 1984.

Hours: Daily: 10am-6pm. Map
Admission: Free. Read more
: Portugal Visitor 

How to reach Park Eduardo VII: Metro – Parque or Marquês de Pombal Station 

Wallet-friendly restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’ Mouraria Lisbon: tasty Portuguese food & park ‘Jardim da Cerca da Graça’: great city views & children’s playground

Not trendy or chic, but very tasty and cheap: typical Portuguese food in Mouraria, historic area of Lisbon, close to a new park with wonderful old town city views. Easy to reach from square Praça Martim Moniz (tram 28)

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Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’ Mouraria Lisbon, owners & daughter Ilda

Away from tourist areas in Lisbon you can find good and cheap restaurants, like restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’ (Custódio ‘s Corner) in historic area Mouraria: tasty Portuguese food for a very good price: around 5-7 euro pp  😉

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Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’ Mouraria Lisbon: good and cheap Portuguese food

Our bill: bife da casa 7.00 € (Portuguese fried beef with an egg on top of the meat, rice, or fried potatoes and salad), polvo (octopus): 5.00 €, carafe of house wine 0.50 l (vinho da casa): 1.40 €, bottle of water (agua): 0.85 €, dessert (sobremesa): maçã assada (roasted apple) 1.50  €, 2 coffee: 1.20  €, licor Beirão  (Portuguese liqueur) : 0,75  €

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Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’ Lisbon: polvo & batata cozida (octopus & potatoes) 5.00 €

Very popular: bitoque (Portuguese steak)

The Portuguese steak, bife, is a slice of fried beef served in a wine-based sauce with fried potatoes, rice, or salad.
Bitoque (toque means touch), comes from the idea that the meat only ‘touches’ the grill twice, meaning that it does not grill for too long before being served, resulting in a rare to medium-rare cut of meat. A fried egg is placed on top of the meat.

Mouraria Lisbon Laurinda restaurant O Cantinho

Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’  area Mouraria Lisbon: tasty and cheap Portuguese food

Restaurant ‘O Cantinho’ do Custódio
Calçada Do Monte 3
Mouraria Lisbon
Tel.: (00351) 218860826, no WiFi

About 10 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 square Martim Moniz

More about  ‘eléctrico 28′. This legendary tram is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town.

Mouraria Lisbon O Cantinho restaurant 2011 Arjen

Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’  area Mouraria Lisbon: very tasty and cheap Portuguese food

Eat & drink like a local

Although this restaurant is quite close to the touristy areas of Lisbon, this is a local place that serves typical Portuguese food. You are very welcome, but the owners do not speak English.

Lisbon Apple dessert sobremesa maca

Restaurant ‘O Cantinho do Custódio’  area Mouraria Lisbon & roasted apple 1.50 €

Historical area Mouraria & history

Historical area Mouraria exists more than 900 years, together with Alfama Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods of great historical value. The former Moorish quarter is a muddle of very narrow streets, stairs and small squares, which gives the visitor a glimpse of a forgotten age.

Vimeo about the historic area Mouraria in Lisbon

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Garden Jardim da Cerca da Graça Lisbon, wonderful views & the Saint George castle

Nearby garden Jardim da Cerca da Graça & wonderful old town city views

The new garden, with an area of ​​1.7 hectares, was inaugurated on 17 June 2015. It is the largest green space for public access to historic districts of Lisbon, the connection between the neighborhoods of Graça and Mouraria, opened to the public.

Mouraria Graca Park beautiful city views 8

Garden Jardim da Cerca da Graça Lisbon & wonderful city views

Kiosk & childeren’s playground

According to the Lisbon Municipality, the project implemented on site included the planting of about 180 trees and shrubs. It was closed to the public for centuries.
There are three viewpoints, a picnic park, an orchard, a playground for children and a kiosk with a terrace. They serve soups, sandwiches and homemade cakes. ​

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Garden Jardim da Cerca da Graça Lisbon, kiosk & beer: 1 euro 🙂

Jardim da Cerca da Graça
Calçada do Monte 46,
Graça, Lisbon
Opening hours: 10:00 to 22:00 (also on Sundays)
near children’s play ground, Wifi available

Pedro Rita park Graca Mouraria Lisbon beautiful city viewpoint

Garden Jardim da Cerca da Graça Lisbon & journalist Pedro Rita

More pictures

This garden is located about 10 min. walk from my 3-bedroom apartment with 30 m2 lovely patio (short term rentals)

Exotic Palace cactus garden Lisbon ‘Tapada das Necessidades’: free access, juicy gossip & a candy-pink birthday cake

Exotic garden Tapada das Necessidades in Lisbon is a guarded secret even the most Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Since a few years it’s open to the public/tourists and it’s free!

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: birthday picnic party June 2012

Between the famous Prazeres cemetery (also really worth a visit!) and the river Tagus (Tejo) you can find this large (about 10 ha) exotical park, including a wonderful picnic area, a network of walkways, historical buildings, a garden and lakes. The grounds of the palace contain a remarkable collection of exotic plants known as “Tapada das Necessidades”.

Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Lilja & the candy-pink birthday cake, June 2012

Surprise birthday picnic & special birthday cake

Our lovely friend Lilja (70) from England, born in Iceland, was invited for a surprise birthday picnic. This beautiful lady likes shopping, like handbags, hats and shoes, and she loves to try on every pair of shoes before deciding whether to buy anything at all 😉  . That’s why this special birthday cake: a pink ‘hat’ decorated with elegant ladies shoes and a small handbag on top.

Exotic garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: prime location for a picnic or a lazy afternoon

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades was built in the 18th century in gratitude for prayers answered by Nossa Senhora das Necessidades (Our Lady of the Needs, a title dedicated to the Virgin Mary), whose first devotional chapel stood on this site.

Nowadays this palace is a Portuguese National Monument

Garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: walk through the immense, amazing garden

The ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ has been the stage for some important events in Portuguese history, as exemplified in the famous case of the box that king Dom Pedro V installed at the door, in wich everyone could leave their messages and complaints to the sovereign.

From 1910, the palace remained unoccupied for almost 40 years. In around 1950 it became the headquarters of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Garden Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Rob and Felipe, June 2012

Sanitairy facilities & trees

It is really wonderful to walk in this garden, you have the feeling that it’s all yours, because there are almost no other people around… In the park are no sanitairy facilities, the guardians at the entrance cried: ” enough trees here”!…. 😉  😉

There are three lakes surrounded by exotic vegetation, sculptures, a waterfall, a fountain and a pool. Really beautiful but faded elegance….

“Hello? Thank you! I’m currently in Lisbon.. Yes! Celebrating my 70th birthday”

Small pink-washed cottages & gossip

Besides: officially the few small pink-washed cottages in this park were once the little prince’s playhouses. But there are rumors that young women lived in those little pink houses, being the mistresses of the king …  😉

One of the little pink-painted houses in the garden: playhouse for the little prince?

The abandoned buildings create a mysterious atmosphere…..and inside there’ s a lot of trash…….   More pictures of this park, the historical buildings and the exotic plants and flowers: Beautiful garden pictures getportugal.com

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: entrance/exit near the Palace

How to get there? Take the 28 tram to Prazeres. The main entrance of the park Tapada das Necessidades is through the Largo das Necessidades. This park is open to the public every day of the week – including Saturdays and Sundays, the entrance is guarded but entry is free.

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades, June 2012

Open: wintertime 8h – 18h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 18h (Saturday and Sunday). Summertine 8h – 19h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 19h (Saturday/Sunday)

Estrela Garden Lisbon: oasis of peace and tranquility, exotic , tram 28 stop & great place for children

One of my favorites (of course the famous botanical garden Jardim Botanico  is also worth a visit!) is Jardim da Estrela (Estrela Garden), one of the biggest gardens in Lisbon with a pleasant café and a huge variety of unique trees and plants.

Estrela Garden exotical unique Lisbon 1

Estrela Garden Lisbon

It’s a great place to walk around and kids have fun here! It has small lakes, a library kiosk and a beautiful bandstand. In summer months, you may occasionally find musicians giving live concerts inside the park.

Estrela Garden exotical unique Lisbon 2

Estrela Garden Lisbon

Enjoy great moments of nature in the center of a big city…

Estrela Garden exotical unique Lisbon 3

Estrela Garden Lisbon

An oasis of peace and tranquility…..

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Estrela Garden Lisbon

Wonderful exotic trees

This magnificent garden (founded in 1852) is a must-see in Lisbon. These pictures were taken at the end of November. In summertime flowers are beautifully scattered throughout the entire garden.

Lisbon Estrela Garden children

Estrela Garden Lisbon

The garden has everything that children seek: a well-equipped children’s playground.

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Jardim da Estrela, Praça da Estrela,

Open daily from 07:00 – 24:00

Free entrance. Metro: Rato. Tram: 25 and 28

Lisbon Estrela Park children dogs

Estrela Garden Lisbon

Dogs have fun here. There are lots of dogs in Lisbon, and most of them are quite happy..

Lisbon Estrela Park church entrance

Estrela Garden Lisbon

Opposite the park: Basilica da Estrela  church , one of the most brilliant constructions of late Baroque, with already neoclassical elements

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden: unique, designed in 1873 & one of Europe’s finest

Tucked away in the Principe Real dictrict, near Bairro Alto, the Botanical Garden is a lush retreat from the afternoon sun.

The University of Lisbon Botanical Garden was designed as a scientific garden, planting began in 1873 through the initiative of two professors, the Earl of Ficalho and Andrade Corvo.

Botanical Garden Lisbon entrance

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

Entrance with beautiful palms: Rua Politécnica 58, Principe Real

Botanical Garden Lisbon ticket office

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

Ticket office in the garden.

Tickets: cheap. Children op to 6 years: free

Botanical Garden Lisbon Ficus macrophylla

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

Ficus macrophylla (moreton bay fig)

The great diversity of plants gathered from every corner of the world under Portuguese rule by its earliest gardeners – the German, E. Goeze, and the Frenchman, J. Daveau – illustrated Portugal’s colonial power at the time, though in Europe it was seen as a small and rather peripheral nation.

Botanical Garden Lisbon couple enjoy the garden

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

It’s really wonderful to walk around and sit down for a while in this haven of tranquility and serenity. The park offers the ideal place to explore the vastness and beauty of nature. Wander along mosaic paths under tall palms, take in the scents of the herb garden and visit the colourful butterfly house.

Botanical Garden Lisbon Dracaena Draco dragon tree

Dracaena Draco (dragon tree) Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

The systematic collections serve various fields of botanical research, demonstrating to the public and visiting schools the great diversity of plant forms and various ecological processes. They also represent an important and effective way of conserving plants whose survival is threatened.

Botanical Garden Lisbon 2 ladies making pics

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico)

Some collections deserve a special mention. The outstanding diversity of palms, brought from all continents, confers an unexpectedly tropical atmosphere to several locations in the garden. Cycads, real living fossils representing ancient and mostly extinct floras, are one of the garden’s hallmarks. Nowadays they are extremely rare and certain species are preserved only in botanical gardens.

Botanical Garden Lisbon Pome granate

Pomegranade, native to semitropical Asia.

The garden is particularly rich in tropical species from New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan and South America, illustrating the mild climate and the special microclimates produced in the garden.

Lisbon Botanical garden

Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa
Rua Escola Politécnica 58
+351-213 921 800
Website

Open: summer (1 April to 31 October): everyday from 09:00 to 20:00.

Weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 20:00.

Winter: everyday from 09:00 to 18:00.

Weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on Christmas and New Years day.