PALÁCIO DAS NECESSIDADES

Lisboa Tapada Necessidades

Lisboa Tapada Necessidades

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Lisboa Tapada Necessidades

Lisboa_Necessidades_ext (2)_sm

From one pink Baroque country house to another, this time fully engulfed by the city, and home to one of Lisbon’s greatest public parks: the Tapada das Necessidades.

It is a Baroque Palace of the mid 18th c. erected on top of a convent and which now houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The history link is below. On an early Spring afternoon, the pink walls (unfortunately deprived of the original lime paint) with limestone trim glow gently under the Lisbon sun. In a few months they will become so bright as to be nearly impossible to behold.

The grotesque fountains are wild, ebullient Baroque creations (you can see either flames or tentacles or swirling reeds in the back of the one to the left). The main façade is a mass of Portuguese simplicity, interrupted only in the center by the beautiful limestone church portal – the entry to the Palace proper is to the left, beyond the park gate. The portal is pedimented and features the crisp, elegant and creative detailing of the João V period.

The garden façade (just above) is fittingly boring but well designed with simple adjustments to scale and detail in the windows to differentiate between levels. If they could only get rid of those AC window units…

Lisboa, Palácio das Necessidades.

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MODERN CLASSIC

PONTE DE LIMA

PONTE DE LIMA

Ponte de Lima pergola

Ponte de Lima pergola

This pergola seems as it could have been designed yesterday, especially the steel structure on top of the massive stone cubes. We might be totally wrong here, but to us only the central pier, rising from an octagonal space, hints at an Art Deco provenance. That and of course the fact that everything is generously covered in rust, mold and lichen.

This being the humidest part of Portugal it’s not hard to imagine that anything looks old after a few years. The wood parts do look like they are relatively new, too sharp and straight (and unpainted). In any case this is one of my favorite pergolas anywhere, with the quadruple-square-post theme injecting new life in a theme that has been developed ad nauseam before. Plus, it manages to look and feel classic without a single classical element: the epitome of great modern design.

Ponte de Lima

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GARDEN AND GROUNDS

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

 

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

The Palácio do Correio-Mor is unusual in Portugal as still keeping its original grounds – or at least, those that remain are still very large, enough that it retains the atmosphere of a lost Arcadia. It is especially striking when coming from Lisbon and going through the endless periphery of housing block after housing block nestled chaotically amid the motorways.

The house is accessed from a winding path and visible at the last second. Birds chirp away and lush green surrounds it. Evergreen bushes and simple architectural elements mark the transition to the extensive grounds.

If you happen to be in Portugal, come see it for yourself in June!

We will be visiting the palace on June 11, 2016, details here. Send us an email at info@oldportuguesestuff.com if you’d like to join in.

Palácio do Correio-mor, Loures

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BARREL VAULTS

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

LOURES_CORREIO_MOR_ADEGA_01_SM

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

It’s interesting to note that while the “technical” rooms were all at the ground floor and reserved to the staff, not all were equally developed architecturally. The humble, austere stables on the previous post cannot compare to the almost luxuriant kitchen, where you could imagine the men of the house feasting wildly after spending the morning at the hunting grounds.

Another minimalist room, the wine cellar at the Correio-Mor nevertheless has nice vaulted ceilings and stone paving, beautiful lanterns and green shutters – not to mention those great big barrels. The ceiling heights also vary and indicate what was happening above: at the stables there would be accommodation (no doubt warmed up by the beasts’ own heat), whereas the kitchen is a full double height space.

We will be visiting the palace on June 11, 2016, details here. Send us an email at info@oldportuguesestuff.com if you’d like to join in.

Palácio do Correio-mor, Loures

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PILLARS

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

The stables at the Correio-mor, an exercise in minimalism and texture.

We will be visiting the palace on June 11, 2016, details here. Send us an email at info@oldportuguesestuff.com if you’d like to join in.

Palácio do Correio-mor, Loures

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FISH AND FOWL

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

PALÁCIO CORREIO MOR

LOURES_CORREIO_MOR_COZINHA_06_SM

As in your average Baroque Palace, the piano nobile is reserved for the public rooms with fancy azulejos and stuccoed ceilings. The Correio-mor is no different, but things get interesting downstairs too – the kitchen with its wide stone slab flooring gets a tall wainscot of painted blue and white azulejos all around.

Based on Delft tiles, the figura avulsa pieces provide a strong background at eye level, with somewhat sarcastic painted scenes above the doors and fireplaces: on one a meal is prepared with rats running under the table; on another a pig is cut open for processing, no doubt a reassurance that the current lords of the manor where fully Christian (they had started as Jewish merchants a century before).

Note also the big fires within shallow arches, the stone table and sculptural water basins (separate for meats and vegetables) and the many different-colored azulejos which represent the different foods: smoked hams, fish, hung game and fowl.

We will be visiting the palace on June 11, 2016, details here. Send us an email at info@oldportuguesestuff.com if you’d like to join in.

Palácio do Correio-mor, Loures

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