Wednesday, 26 February 2014


 Biblioteca del Monasterio de Mafra, Portugal

Built in the 18th century by order of King João V (1689-1750) in fulfilment of a vow he made, to be blessed with an heir from his marriage to Maria Ana of Austria, or be cured of a serious illness, the Royal Convent and Palace of Mafra is the most important baroque monument in Portugal.

Mafra was King D. João VI’s favourite palace, who commissioned, at the end of the 18th century, mural paintings for several rooms and a new ensemble of six organs for the Basilica.

The monument also contains one of the most important European libraries, with a precious collection of 36.000 volumes, a synthesis of 18th century encyclopaedic knowledge.  

And it was from this palace that the last king of Portugal, Manuel II, left for exile on the 5th October 1910, following the proclamation of the Republic. The Royal Palace opens as a museum in 1911 under the name of Palácio Nacional de Mafra.

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