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Historic Places … October 2011
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The Queluz National Palace, an 18th-century palace located at Queluz in Portugal, is a National Monument of both civic and historical significance.
One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, the palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I.
Work on the palace began in 1747 under the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. Although it is much smaller, the palace is often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles.
The Hall of Ambassadors, sometimes called the throne room or the Hall of Mirrors, was designed by Robillon in 1757 and is one of the largest reception rooms in the palace. This long low room has a ceiling painted by Francisco de Melo depicting the Portuguese royal family attending a concert during the reign of Queen Maria I. The room is extremely wide and light, spanning the full width of the palace, with tall windows on both sides. The throne dais, set in an apse, is flanked by gilded and mirrored columns, and the floor is a chequer board pattern of black and white marble tiles.
In 1908, it became the property of the state. A serious fire in 1934 gutted the interior of the palace.
Subsequently it was extensively restored and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.
Information from Tour Guide and Wikipedia.