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“Marvellous magnificent palace”

Palacio Nacional de Mafra
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Full-Day Mafra and Ericeira Private Tour from Lisbon
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Private Tour: Palaces of Portugal with Ericeira
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Mafra
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Get to the end of the motorway and from out of nowhere you will see the dome of Mafra rise up on the horizon. Park next to the modern town cafe and take a coffee and cake there ready for exploring this magnificent palace of huge scale. The hospital shows how grim things could be against the opulence of the gold and marble. The library is stunning along with the wild furnishings. This is a must visit but be prepared for the size of it!

1  Thank Marielle12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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153 - 157 of 854 reviews

Reviewed 7 October 2013

An interesting place to visit. Outside It's huge. We had big engineers in the past to make this construction.

Thank Tirapicos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We had not planned to visit this place but were in the area and saw the Palacio which can be seen for miles around. We followed the signs and were stunned by the size despite our DK guide saying it was big! Everything about it is big ! The baroque palace and monastery dwarf the town of Mafra itself. We started in the basilica which is decorated in marble and houses 6 (six) organs! We then paid to visit the Palacio itself and, be warned there is a lot of walking . The self guided tour begins in the monastery ( all rooms have descriptive notices in Portugese and English ). You pass through the pharmacy into the hospital where monks looked after 16 patients all located in their own area but the beds could be pulled out into the central area so that they could see and hear mass at the altar at the far end. You then pass into the royal apartments with distinctive his and her's ( king and queen) areas. It is obvious that no expense was spared with the construction with the royal coffers being swelled from Brazil and it is said that at one time 52000 men were employed. The long walk through all the various rooms ends at the gem - the library. It has a patterned marble floor, Rococo-style wooden bookcases and a collection of over 40,000 books. They are on remarkable condition, mostly due to the monastery having it's own experts in bookbinding.

2  Thank Christine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2013

This was an interesting place to visit - started off as a monastery and ended up as a massive royal palace, funded mostly it seems by gold and jewels 'liberated' by colonial expansion in Brazil. There isn't much in the town as far as we could see. The palace dominates the horizon, and can be seen from miles away. It is very cheap to enter - can't remember the exact amount but about 6 euros. A lot less than the palace at Sintra, and nothing like as busy. There was a christening followed by a wedding taking place in the Basilica when we visited, which was lovely to watch from the balcony in the royal apartments above the nave. The scale of the royal apartments is overwhelming - with 'his and her' towers. Some of it is downright tacky - look out for the hunting room. But an interesting insight into the lives of the monks (particularly in the infirmary) and the royal family (heavily intermarried - note aunts marrying nephews and various other permutations). The library is amazing - 35,000 books in excellent condition thanks to the monks bookbinding activities.

3  Thank Lynne24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2013

I did not like the feel of Mafra it that it seemed like a government town with not much atmopshere. The Palace is worth a look but it seemed like it was money over aesthetics when it was build. The large baroque sculptures in the entrance way were impressive. The adjoining grounds less than spectacular.

1  Thank Leo201295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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