Ajuda Palace is a historic landmark in the Portuguese capital. Built in the 19th century, the palace was designed as a residence for the Portuguese royal family and is now an important national museum.
The history of Ajuda Palace begins in the 18th century, when King D. João V decided to build a residence for his wife, Queen Maria Ana of Austria, on the hill of Ajuda. The original project, however, was never completed due to financial and political problems. It was only in the 19th century, during the reign of King Fernando II, that construction on the palace was resumed.
The initial project was entrusted to the architects Manuel Caetano de Sousa, José da Costa e Silva and Xavier Fabri, who designed a palace inspired by the great European royal residences of the time. The building would be later, between 1817 and 1844, guided by the architect Francisco Rosa.
Ajuda Palace is an imposing building, with a stone façade, towers and pinnacles. Its interior is equally impressive, with decorated reception rooms, painted ceilings, with the best and most beautiful furniture and large and precious pieces of tapestry, painting and goldwork.
The Throne Room and the interior decoration reveal the neo-baroque decorative taste, while the building’s architecture is neo-classical. In the lobby, the 47 statues signed by Portuguese artists deserve special mention.
In the meantime, in 1968, it opened to the public as a house-museum, and since the 1980s it has come to stand out as a museum institution in the national and international panorama.
The Royal Treasure Museum
In June 2022, the Royal Treasury Museum was inaugurated there, where a large part of the former assets of the former Portuguese Royal House is permanently displayed, both works belonging to the Crown and from the former private collections of the various members of the Portuguese royal family.
Today, Ajuda Palace is an important national museum, with permanent exhibitions on the history of the Portuguese royal family and on the architecture and decorativism of the palace. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs for schools.