Palácio da Ajuda is a neo-classic building
that came from King´s D.João VI idea of building one of
the most beautiful and classic gentleman´s palaces in
At first, the project was handed over to the
architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa, that later was
deceased. The project was then delivered to José da
Costa e Silva and Francisco Fabri, but at the end the
main architect was Antonio Franscisco Rosa due to the
death of Fabri and the departure of Costa e Silva to
Brazil. The construction began in 1802 but it was halted
until 1809. Due to the french Invasions and the departure
of the Royal family to Brazil, the works were put off.
When D. João VI returned from Brazil in 1821, the works
in the palace were still very delay; forcing him to live
in Palácio de Queluz. It was only after the King´s death in 1826
that there was the possibility for the Court of D.
Isabel Maria to establish in the Palace.
The Queen D.Carlota and her son D. Miguel – that
later was King- also lived in the Palace in spite of all
the mediocrity. In 1862 D. Luís went to live in the Palace
with his wife, the Queen D. Maria Pia de Sabóia, which
was responsable for the Palace´s decoration.
The once empty and hostile Palace became a museum
for its pieces rarity and for the elegance in general.
The Queen put some artistic rarities in the Palace and
worked there during her husband’s reign until the
proclamation of the Republic. It is the Queen’s fault
that today Portugal has one of the most remarkable
Palaces in Europe. The Palace is a imposing one with magnificent
arcades, allegorical statues and images in the ceiling.
In the ground floor we can find the Ajuda
Library, one of the most remarkable in Lisbon due to its
This library was founded by Marquês do Pombal
to replace the vanished one in the fire of Paço da
Ribeira. It was later on enriched with the colection’s
works of the jesuits and holds up to 24.000 copies.
Nowadays, the Palace houses the Ministry of cultural