Fronteira Palace (Palácio da Fronteira) is one of the best-kept secrets of Lisbon. For palace lovers, this is a place not to be missed. It took me some time till having the opportunity to visit it, but on a beautiful February day, I took a bus to São Domingo de Benfica, the area where the palace is located.
As you are not allowed to take photos inside the palace, in this post, you will only find photos of the gardens. To have the opportunity to see the interior you will have to go there.
History and Curiosities
The Palace was built as a hunting lodge and country house for D. João Mascarenhas, the 1st Marquês de Fronteira. Its inauguration happened around 1675.
With the devastating earthquake of 1755, the family’s official residence in Chiado was destroyed. Due to its location outside the epicentre of the city Fronteira Palace survived without major damage. Thus, the family of the Marquês de Fronteira moved here and a new wing was built.
Of all the rooms inside the palace, one of my favourites is Sala das Batalhas (Battles room), where 8 episodes of the Restoration War are portrayed. Did you know that it was due to the active participation of D. João Mascarenhas in the war with Spain, that he was distinguished with the title of Marquês de Fronteira?
This property has been in the family of the Marqueses de Fronteira for 13 generations so far. Apart from being a beautiful palace to visit, it also remains the residence of the family.
The charming gardens of the palace were inspired by the great architecture of Italian gardens. Their beauty hasn´t gone unnoticed in the international scene. This garden was one of the chosen to appear on the top 250 list, in the prestigious book The Gardener”s Garden .
On the terrace, you can find panels representing the 7 liberal arts that are accompanied by Greek deities.
At the bottom of the terrace is the chapel. There is a funny legend about its decoration.
Legend has it that the first Marquês de Fronteira invited King D. Pedro to inaugurate the palace. At that time, there was the superstition that whatever the king touched could no longer be used. So after the dinner with the king, all the dishes were broken and their shards were used to make the decoration of cladding.
Apart from most of the gardens being of Italian influence, there is also an area with Arabic influence.
How to arrive?
Take the metro to the Zoo station (also known as Sete Rios), on the blue line. Near the Zoo look for the bus stop of bus 770. Then, you just need to take this same bus and leave at the stop with the same name as the Palace – the stop “Palácio Marquês Fronteira”
There are no visits on Sundays and Holidays.
Palace: The interior of the Palace can only be visited in the morning. All visits to the interior of the Palace are guided.
June to September: Monday to Saturday at 10:30 am; 11:00 a.m, 11:30 a.m.,12 a.m
October to May: Monday to Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
June to September: Monday to Friday, between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
October to May: Monday to Friday between 11.00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m and Saturdays between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.
This information was gathered from the website of the Fundação das Casas de Fronteira e Alorna
Garden ticket+ guided tour to the interior: € 9
Garden ticket: € 4