(The National Palace of Mafra. That’s the Basilica in the middle with the bell towers)
Contrary to expectations, there was sun this morning so there are lots of photos. We are in Mafra about 30km north of Lisbon. It’s situated on a high plateau and very windy at times. It’s home to the National Palace of Mafra which was commissioned in 1717 by King João V. He had promised to build a monastery if he and his wife could have children.
(See the M’s for Mafra on the light pole? And the blue sky?)
It’s a huge building and comprises a Basilica, a Royal Palace, a convent (which might be the monastery) and hunting grounds which are a bit outside the town. The royal family only came here for holidays and the hunting.
(There’s a balcony outside this window looking out onto the town for the king to address his people)
I went for a walk around it this morning. I’d say it’s lovely and cool in the summer but I was glad to be well wrapped up today because they have gale force winds coming through their very beautiful not double glazed windows. Actually the light coming through the beautiful windows was particularly lovely today. Nice contrast to recent dark skies.I might have taken a picture of every window on the first floor…
(Can you see them too…? That’s the lady with the furry stole)
While I was walking around there were very few visitors but some of the museum curators were dressed in period costumes. I was drawn to one lady’s furry stole… looked very warm. The guys dressed up as monks might not have been dressed up, they may have been actual monks. They were chatting with the dressed up ladies so maybe they were just dressed up too.
(And old pot in the pharmacy section of the palace)
That’s something I’m noticing each time I visit a museum, the curators go around in twos and chat all the time. They have seriously lots to say to each other. This adds to my assumption that the Portuguese are a very sociable people and the groups of people working at the Palace are a very good example. Each time I passed they smiled at me and then went back to their conversation. I’d love to know what they’re saying. In fact I’ve started learning Portuguese… I can say, Eu gosta uma maçã, it means I like an apple. Not as useful as, can you tell me what you’re talking about, please? but at least I’ve made a start.
(Anyone need a high-sided bed?)
Part of the monastery was set aside as a small hospital with a pharmacy and curtained off beds. One of the explanatory signs pointed to a high sided bed as being for people with high fever or “mad monks”… well, we’ve all been there and I for one felt encouraged to think there might be a bed for me here if the rain keeps up.
From our Palace in Mafra, Mairead.