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Palace of Monserrate
Palácio de Monserrate
Park of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal
Sintra Parks Monte da Lua, Conservation Company
Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua, S.A.
1790; 1841; 1863
Architect: James Thomas Knowles; Landscape architect: William Colebrooke Stockdale; Master gardener: Francis James Burt
The Monserrate estate, known as the Quinta da Boa Vista, goes back to the 16th century, belonging to the Royal All Saints Hospital as a source of revenue. The name Monserrate comes from the 1540 chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat. Formerly owned by Beckford’s, then by the Melo e Castro family, in 1841, at the end of his grand tour, Francis Cook stops in Lisbon and marries the daughter of an English merchant. He discovers Sintra during his honeymoon and fascinated by Monserrate, manages to purchase it and starts its rehabilitation. The ensemble belonged to the Cook family until 1929. In 1947, it is sold to antiques dealer Saul Sárraga who sells in auction the contents of the palace and tries to divide the estate leading to the acquisition by the Portuguese State, in 1949.
The Palace of Monserrate is a key example of Portuguese romanticism, due to its eclecticism blending Venetian Gothic influences with those of India and the Moors. The building is a landmark in the landscape, with its distinctive profile punctuated by three towers, perfectly framed with the surrounding gardens.
The former building’s volumetry, two cylindrical turrets, horizontal galleries and a square-based central turret, the windows with Gothic arches are combined to the 19th century influences of Venetian palaces and a decorative composition of vegetative motifs. The stuccoes of the Corridor of the palace of Monserrate are inspired by the ones of Alhambra Palace in Granada whereby the several columns is thought to recall those of the Hypostyle Hall of the Cordova Mosque.
Carlos Marques, Cristina Correia "Palace of Monserrate" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=monument;AWE;pt;5;en
Prepared by: Carlos Marques, Cristina Correia
MWNF Working Number: PT 006
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