Visit the ‘Palace of Independence’ Rossio Lisbon & conspiracy against Spanish occupation in 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: ship.geral@ship.pt

3 Replies to “Visit the ‘Palace of Independence’ Rossio Lisbon & conspiracy against Spanish occupation in 1640”

  1. I hereby add the same though corrected/enriched ínformation:

    Palace of Independence
    The Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence), is located next to the Rossio Square at downtown Lisbon, the Baixa district, by the national theatre D. Maria II, on the north side of the Largo de São Domingos . It is the seat of the Sociedade Historica da Independência de Portugal.

    Formerly designated as Rossio’s Palace or Palácio de S. Domingos, it was commonly designated Palácio dos Almadas [The Almada Palace], after the Family name of its previous owners.

    The residence of the Almada Family was founded in 1467 by Dom Fernando de Almada, made 2nd Count of Avranches (Normandy) by Luís XI of France, in 1476 [curious enough is the fact that Dom Fernando was the son of Dom Álvaro Vaz de Almada, who had previously been granted the same title of Count of Avranches but by the English King Henry the IV, for bravery in the battles against the French, when Avranches belonged to the English].
    Along the years to come the House was rebuilt and new façades were added. The actual 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 of the 15th century are reminiscent of the royal palace at Sintra.

    Since Dom Lourenço José Boaventura de Almada was granted the title of Count of Almada in 1793 by the Queen D. Maria I, the Palace became known as Count Almada’s Palace.

    Almeida Garrett lived there briefly, after the Almada’s left the premises in 1933, before the Palace became public property.

    Historic events
    The name Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independence) recalls a historic event that occurred in 1640.
    Philip II of Spain, son of Isabella and grandson of Manuel I of Portugal, had occupied Portugal in 1580, and was recognized as King of Portugal one year later.
    With Philip’s death in 1598 and the ascension to the Spanish throne of his son, Philip III, much less respect began to be paid to the provision that preserved Portugal’s autonomy. And his successor, Philip IV of Spain, had no interest in government and turned over the administration of Portugal to the duke of Olivares.
    The loss of some colonies, the intense pressure of excessive taxes levied and troop requisitions on Portugal to support Spanish military activities, especially against France, as well as the loss of influence at the Spanish Cortes by the Portuguese nobility and the increasingly occupation of government posts in Portugal by Spaniards, as part of a strategy to turn Portugal into a royal province, ultimately led to a conspiracy among several of the Portuguese nobility.
    Thus 60 years later, on December 1st, 1640, a successful rebellion ensued at the
    Palace of the Almada’s, followed by the Restoration of Portugal’s independence. About 40 conspirators prepared for the action under the leadership of the Duke of Bragança in the premises of the Palace. The coup d’État was conducted by Dom Antão Vaz de Almada [6th Lord of the King’s Wineries, direct descendant of the Count of Avranches, Portuguese Embassador in London from 1641-42], Miguel de Almeida, Francisco de Melo, Jorge de Melo, João Pinto Ribeiro, Pedro de Mendonça e António Saldanha, who assassinated the Iberian Union’s Secretary of State, ‘traitor’ Miguel de Vasconcelos, cousin of the Duchess of Mantua, Vicereine of Portugal.
    The Duke of Bragança, grandson of the Duchess of Bragança, grandmother the royal family descended, was crowned João IV, King of Portugal.
    The Sociedade Historica da Independência de Portugal 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.
    Since 1861, every year on December 1st official memorial events take place both in the Palácio da Independência and at the Praça dos Restauradores [named their after, Restorers Square]

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