Located in the tranquil suburbs of Lisbon, the Palace of the Marquises is one of the city’s best-preserved estates from the Portuguese aristocracy of centuries passed. The main building was built in the 17th century, with some reforms and add-ons from the 18th century. Today, the mansion is maintained privately and is mostly untouched from its original state.
The palace is surrounded by green space, both from its proximity to the Monsanto Forest Park and the well-kept gardens. Inside the mansion’s walls, grandiose crystal chandeliers hang from intricate, frescoed ceilings. The exterior is home to lovely gardens, complete with neatly cut hedges, ponds, fountains and statues of religious figures and Portuguese royalty. Visitors can roam the gardens freely, but can only enter the mansion on a guided tour, as it’s still inhabited. For a special event inside the mansion, check out the bridge tournament that happens on the 4th Monday night of every month.
The Palace of Marquises is renowned for its Portuguese tile collection, both inside and outside. The traditional Portuguese tiles, known as azulejos, are delicately painted, mostly blue and white, but sometimes with other colors. At the palace, thousands of azulejos are on display both inside and outside in the gardens, adorning fountains and the exterior walls. A highlight is the Hall of Battles, where tile-work depicts scenes from wars.
The Palace of the Marquises is located at Largo São Domingos de Benfica 1 in Lisbon. Guided tours of the palace interior are offered Monday–Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and at noon during the summer months (June–September), and at 11 a.m. and at noon during the winter months (October–May). The gardens are open Monday–Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m (closed during lunch hour) and closes at 1 p.m. on Saturdays. During the winter months (October–May) the gardens are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.