La Casa de Mateus was built in the first half of the 18th century and designed by Nicholas Nasoni. It is considered the masterpiece of Portuguese Baroque architecture. You have to see it if you are near the town of Villa Real, in the north part of the country, which is only 2 km. I visited the Casa Mateus last Easter on the way to Porto, which is 90 km away. It's now a museum with several rooms full of antique furniture: you can see paintings of the XVII and XIII, silverware, ceramics and even a library. The house is run by the Foundation of the Casa de Mateus, which aims to carry out various cultural activities related to art or music and it organizes courses, exhibitions and seminars. I really liked the magnificent gardens, which are worthy of appearing in a movie, and they are composed of perfectly manicured hedges, flowers, trees, magnificent lakes, fountains ... They sell jams and jellies and wine Mateus House brand of the same house.
Guimaraes is a good place to take a trip if you're leaving from Oporto, for example. You take a train in Sao Bento and in an hour or less you're there. It's only about a ten minute walk from the station to the center. Both the Palace and the Castle are on a hill nearby, which you can easily walk to. The Palace is very well preserved. If you go there you can see a tapestry collection from the factory they had in Pastrana, Guadalajara province, right here in Spain. Always nice to go abroad and learn something about your own country. You have some photos of the Palace made of the Castle and from the outside.
It is one of the places you cannot miss if you are in Oporto. Also worth a visit is the Cathedral, the Romantic Museum and the most beautiful Lello bookstore in the world, where they filmed scenes for the Harry Potter movies. In Oporto you can sit and have a drink in front of the Duero and watch the boats and take some photos. There is an iron bridge of 6 having Oporto it did in the 19th century the same genius that made the Eifel Totto, and especially watch your possessions, and changes everywhere.
A Baroque building built 1753-1754 by André Soares. In 1863, the street in front was opened to get a better view of the palace. From 1883 the Holy House of Mercy installed some services of the Hospital de San Marcos and in 1956 it was declared a Site of Public Interest. The building is very nice, though when we went the streets, like most of Braga, were under construction.
The Episcopal Palace is located in the upper part of the city (the Batalha district), in a large square where you can also find the Cathedral and the Casa del Cabildo. The building was built during the thirteenth century and remodeled in the eighteenth by Bishop Rafael de Mendonça. His coat of arms appears on the front entrance. These works were designed by Nicolau Nasoni, although executed by Francisco da Silva. It is a very large building with three floors. The main facade is made up of numerous windows and balconies that are framed by granite pediments; those on the upper levels have steel railings.
The Episcopal Palace of Braga is very strange because it took such a long time to build (since the s. XIV to XVIII). Inside its buildings we can see the evolution of architectural styles. The part of the wall is the oldest, and was constructed with granite and resembles a fortress. We don´t know exactly if you can enter the courtyard to see this part closer, but still it is well worth seeing. Also you can go a little way to Santa Barbara Garden to see everything much better.
One of the loveliest civic buildings in Barcelos is the House of Beça (or Bessa) Meneses, at the end of Avenida De la Libertad. It was constructed in the 18th century and has two levels which showcase its facade, made of granite around the many windows, with shells and plumes. There is a large coat of arms on the center window, and the gorgeous wrought iron railings in curve around the windows of the lower floor.
This palace was not indicated on the tourist information map, and I didn't think it would be that interesting, but I found it by chance when I got off the Funicular Guindais off at Batalha and took the street that takes you to the Cathedral.
According to a sign next to the building, it was built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a family residence for the Counts de Azevedo, although it is now used for municipal administration and public services. It has two floors and multiple windows, a simple façade that can be accessed via a staircase.
This palace is in Largo da Senhora-A-Branca, on the corner of Avenida 31 de Janeiro. It was previously a hotel, but is now under construction to turn it into a residential building for luxury housing. It's fairly large, 2-storey and the main façade is typically Portuguese architecture, with decorative carved stone elements framing the door and windows. The upper floor is topped with a granite baluster and a sort of pediment with a rosette carved with floral motifs and vases on the sides. A little is the Church of Nossa Senhora-A-Branca and the Parish Church of St. Victor.
The City Hall is situated in the Town Square. Its construction began in 1753, with André Soares in charge of it, and ended a century later with the rise of the northern third. He had it built to centralize political and administrative activity. The building is considered one of the most important examples of Baroque architecture in existence.
This palace is one of the most beautiful civic buildings of the city, and is on the corner of Avenida Conde da Barreira and Rua Cândido dos Reis. It was built by Fernando Brandao (sixteenth century) as the residence of Távoras Abreu (Condes de Carreira, whose herald might be on the front) and was remodeled (eighteenth century) by the military architect Manuel Pinto Villalobos. The building occupies an entire city block and has typical Manueline architecture, with beautiful windows and doors framed in carved stone. The north facade has a small chapel annexed in Baroque style. From 1972 it has housed the offices of the City or Municipal House.
This palace is in Largo D. João III square, next to City Hall and the Ethnographic Museum. It's a civilian building that represents the social prestige of one of the most important families of Miranda, the Ordazes, who had great power and aristocratic influence. It was built in the fifteenth century, but later reformed, the monumental Baroque facade is from the second half of the eighteenth century. It has two floors, the second has 6 balconies with wrought iron railings framed with curved granite spandrels, keeping its original medieval structure. When I visited the building was being used as headquarters of a political party. At the entrance is a doorway with a nineteenth century stone arch, which begins the climb the stairs to the top floor.
This palace is named after Largo do Paço square and is in the historic city center, a few steps from the Cathedral of Braga. Currently it's part of the University of Minho, but was once the Palace of Republic Bracarense, but was ended in 1790 by the first Queen of Portugal. The 2-storey palace is masonry, has 3 wings (the left side with arcades) and a linear facade with several covers decorated with shields.
The Courthouse on Avenida da Great War Two Combatentes attracts attention. It's a huge building that occupies the entire block, on the corner of Avenida Conde Carreira (opposite the train station). Its facade is linear and symmetrical, with two floors, the lower and upper windows with balconies. The central body with the entrance has three doors framed by granite columns, has a balcony in the upper zone and is topped by a bronze sculpture symbolizing justice (a scale held in her left hand).