On our last full day in Portugal we visited the National Palace of Queluz which was across the square from our hotel. I went to the gardens and inside the palace. In the afternoon a group of us took cabs to the seaside town on Cascais. At six AM, you could hear the drums during the changing of the guards ceremony which was located just outside out hotel. No problem for me as I was already up and outside.
It was fun to watch the show.
This shot was taken from the gardens of the Queluz National Palace. This is a photo of the Queluz Palace facade and the Triton fountain. The palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza (future husband and then king consort to his own niece Queen Maria 1). When Dom Pedro died in 1786, the Queen was hidden away in the palace due to "her descent into madness".
A close up view. Following the destruction of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent, John VI, and his family. The palace remained their residence until the Royal Family fled to the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal.
Starting in 1826, the palace slowly became out of favour with the Portuguese sovereigns. In 1908, it became the property of the state. There was a serious fire in 1934 which gutted the interior and therefore needed extensive restoration before it opened to the public as a major tourist attraction.
The gardens were pretty impressive.
I believe this room was the ballroom.
The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art is based in the Gardens of the National Palace of Queluz. We were fortunate to be able to watch the performance.
Taken directly from the brochure " The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art was founded to uphold the teaching, practice and promotion of traditional Portuguese equestrian art.
The school has also reintroduced exercises from the baroque riding style, such as the "airs above the ground". It was both beautiful and exciting to watch the show.
The school uses Lusitano horses from the Alter Real Stud Farm, established in 1748 by King Joao V to supply the royal household and its riding school with horses.
After spending the morning exploring the palace, some of us took a cab to visit the town of Cascais. Cascais is a coastal town and a municipality in Portugal, about 30 kilometres west of Lisbon. It is actually one of the richest municipalities in Portugal.
Cascais is a former fishing village which gained fame as a resort for Portugal's royal family n the late 19th and early 20th century.
I had watched the Lab swimming and now it was time to dry off and have a snooze.
There were a lot of old rowboats around with some interesting textures and colours.
After hanging around the beach we headed back to the town to check it out.
There was this very interesting colourful building.
We came across this beautiful bed and breakfast spot. We wished that we had stayed here for a night or two.
Like many seaside towns there was a merry-go-around.
For our farewell dinner we ate in a restaurant overlooking the water.
It was a fabulous dinner to end a great trip to Portugal. Even though I spent two weeks there, I feel that there is so much more to see.