Museu-Biblioteca da Casa de Bragança - Paço Ducal e Castelo de Vila Viçosa
Museums and Palaces
Now operating as a museum, the Palace of Vila Viçosa was one of the favourite residences of the Portuguese royal family during many centuries.
The Palace of Vila Viçosa was built in the 16th century, on the orders of King D. Jaime, the fourth Duke of Bragança, who decided to build a new residence here. The extensive imposing facade was initially designed with a Renaissance style, inspired by the Palace of Ribeira in Lisboa. At the end of the 16th century, new works were carried out by the Duke D. Teodósio II who endowed the Palace with a mannerist style, following a project by the Royal architect, Nicolau de Frias. In the early 17th century, the interior was decorated with a fresco and tempera mural painting, considered to be one of the most important works of Portuguese art.
During the reign of D. João IV, the Palace ceased to serve as an official residence of the Dukes of Bragança, but continued to be visited by monarchs, in particular by D. João V and D. José. In the 19th century, the Royal family once again chose the Palace of Vila Viçosa in order to spend long periods away from the capital, Lisbon. In the 20th century, in accordance with D. Manuel II's testament, the House of Bragança Foundation was created, responsible for managing the Palace, which has now been transformed into a museum.
The museum's collection includes the contents of the last Palace of the Royal family, including Portuguese furniture (17th and 18th centuries), Portuguese and Spanish tapestries (16th to 18th centuries), European and Oriental porcelain, together with a glazed earthenware and majolica dating from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Visitors may also admire several glass items, paintings (in particular works by the king D. Carlos and portraits of the monarchs of the house of Bragança), a set of weapons from the 16th to 20th centuries and a collection of 40 cars and carriages.
7160-251 Vila Viçosa
June / September: Tuesday: 2.00pm – 6.00pm; Wednesday-Sunday: 10.00am – 1.00pm / 2.00pm – 6.00pm;
October / May: Tuesday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm; Wednesday-Sunday: 10.00am – 1.00pm / 2.00pm – 5.00pm;
Closed: Monday, Thursday morning and public holidays