Palace of Queluz
Work on the palace began in 1747 under Portuguese architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. It was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro’s death.
About Palace of Queluz in brief
The Palace of Queluz is one of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe. Work on the palace began in 1747 under Portuguese architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. It was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro’s death in 1786. Following the destruction by fire of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, it became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent John VI, and his family and remained so until the royal family fled to the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal. In 1908, the palace became the property of the state. Following a serious fire in 1934, it was extensively restored, and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction. One wing of the palace is currently used as Portugal’s official state guest house, allocated to foreign heads of state. It is a revolt against the earlier, heavier, Italian-influenced Baroque which preceded the Rococo style throughout Europe. The architecture is representative of the final extravagant period of Portuguese culture that followed the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690. It represents the politics and social events of Portugal during this era, and the carefree and flamboyant lives led by its occupants. In its frivolity, it reflects the lifestyle led by the Portuguese royal family at the time of building.
The more massive and massive palace at Mafra does not appear to have influenced the design for the subsequent architecture of queluz, which is in a lighter, more airy style. The Great earthquake of 1755 stimulated the development of the urban arts in Portugal. The subsequent architecture was influenced by the rebuilding of the city after the earthquake, which required more labourers for the reconstruction of the town. The site chosen for this summer retreat was in a secluded hollow. When the ruling Spanish were driven from Portugal in 1640, the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo was accused of having collaborated with the Spanish and the property was seized by the Portugal Crown. The estate and its hunting lodge then became one of many properties of Portuguese king, João IV. It came into the hands of the second son of João V, Dom Pedro, during the construction of the royal palace and convent of Mafre. The architect, Ludovico de. Oliveira, had trained under Ludovice of Ratis and Jean Baptiste Robillon during theConstruction of the Royal Palace and convent. He set it aside as one of. the properties reserved for the second. son of the reigning monarch. Dom Pedro and his wife Maria in 1777, when Portugal was in practice governed by a valido or favourite, the marquis of Pombal. The palace was built and dedicated to exhibit in stone “all the glories of France,” whereas the far smaller palace has been described as ‘exquisite rather than magnificent’