After moving a large number of boxes and assorted furniture items into summer storage and a fun two-day family road trip that included stops in Quincy, Massachusetts, Newport, Rhode Island, and at Kykuit, the Rockefellers' historic estate in the New York's Hudson River Valley, I am finally back in Michigan. Posts about the gardens visited and plants seen during our journey home will go up soon but first I wanted to finally posts about gardens I visited during my spring break trip to Portugal. I know it is rather odd to finish up posts about things done and sights seen during spring break when my summer break just started but I also figured it would be a shame not to post about these great places, so here we go:
As you can tell by the title, the subject of this post is the park surrounding the National Palace in Queluz, Portugal. Located on the outskirts of Portugal's sprawling capital city of Lisbon, this elegant Rococo palace was begun in 1747 under Pedro III and Maria I as a summer palace. It became the main residence of the Portuguese Court in 1794 and remained the primary palace of the monarchy until 1807 when Napoleon invaded Portugal and the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil. The palace is a playful creation painted in delicate light yellow and pastel pink, while its interior is sumptuously decorated with quirky wallpapers and chandeliers, mirrors, gold leaf, tile panels, and much else besides. Quite a few rooms even have ornamentation that is flower or garden-themed.
The façade of the palace overlooking the Jardim Pênsil
The Sala dos Embaixadores or Hall of Ambassadors
A playful blue and pink chandelier
Trompe l'oeil decorations depicting rose-filled urns and forest
The gardens are divided into several quite distinct sections. Directly beside the palace, one finds the Jardim Pênsil or "Hanging Garden" and the Jardim de Malta or "Malta Garden", two formal boxwood parterres laid out by the architect Jean-Baptiste Robillon in the "French Style" and decorated with fountains and classical statues.
The Amphitrite Pond in the Jardim Pênsil
Ceramic urns in the Jardim Pênsil
Statuary, boxwood hedges, and Magnolia grandiflora in the Jardim Pênsil
Other features for which the garden is famous include an artificial boating canal decorated with Portugal's trademark azulejo tiles, terraces descending from the palace planted with further trimmed boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), Citrus trees, and Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), and a free-standing stone cascade.
Azulejos depicting garden scenes on the outside of the boating canal
View along the boating canal
Ferns and other small plants colonizing the trunk of a willow by the stream that runs through the park, next to a hedge of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
A serene fountain, surrounded by tiled benches
A small blue flower growing by the wayside which I could not identify.
On the whole, the Palácio Nacional de Queluz and its gardens are definitely worth a visit if you ever happen to be in the Lisbon area. The palace and the grounds are open year round and throughout the week except on Tuesdays and if you come on a Sunday before 2:00 pm entrance is free. For more information, you can visit the site's official website here.