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Close to the square named “Praça dos Restauradores”, between the elegant neoclassic buildings of the Rossio district, is hidden a tiny gem. This is the House of Alentejo, (the Alentejo is a region in south-west Portugal), a place which brings together all the nostalgic elements of this area of Portugal.
If it was only for its facade you would not notice this palace built at the end of the 17th century. But that old saying ´what counts is what is on the inside` really is true when it comes to this old building. On entering and climbing the stairs you will suddenly find yourself on a very unlikely patio.
After incredibly surviving the 1755 earthquake, the palace was restored in 1919 and its luxurious interior dates back to this time when it was the residence of the Viscounts of Alverca.
Among many of the things worth seeing, it is worth taking the time to visit the Mirror hall, Reading room, Exhibition room and the Neo-renaissance room. In these immense salons, decorated with beautiful tile panels, it is easy to picture how people lived during this period.
Another area that really stands out is the patio. This is decorated in the Moorish style, with a small fountain, many types of plant and Arab style arches. To add to this marvellous scene there are tiles, sandalwood marquetry, balconies and small decorative columns.
This palace is the Lisbon headquarters of the association of people from the Alentejo region who feel a certain longing for their land. Therefore though it is a public building and receives tourist visits, its members try to keep the building a quiet Alentejo refuge in the middle of the city. This means that all visitors should show respect and thoughtfulness when inside.
The building holds exhibitions and organises cultural activities connected to this area of Portugal.
What’s more, inside the palace you will find displays of the region’s traditional food, with specialities like “Travers de Porc” (a pork dish) and “Cataplana a l’Alenteja” (a seafood dish). If you visit on a Saturday night you will be able to enjoy a folklore show, a real insight into this area’s traditions.
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Belém Tower (5)
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