The Palace of Monserrate Restoration Project

Palace of Monserrate

In 1995 the whole of the Sintra Region was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and restoration of the various properties and conservation of the forests and parks continues to this day.

Hall at Monserrate

The Beautifully Restored Hall

Since 1949 Monserrate has been owned by the Portuguese state. Over the decades that followed the palace deteriorated but in 2001 restoration work began on the roof and facades.  After interruptions this work was finally completed in 2004 when work on the interior could begin. A successful bid for funds from EEA-Grants in 2007 enabled work to resume at a faster pace. At Monserrate this the project is called “open for works” and it allows for the Palace to be open to the public so that all may watch the ongoing ‘interventions’.

Exquisite renovation work

Fantastic renovation work

Exquisite Plasterwork

Restoration work carried out room by room allowed for the re-opening of the building to visitors. So far interventions in the Library, Chapel, Kitchen, Pantry, Wine Cellar, Larders, decorative plasterwork, cleaning of stonework, kitchen range have all been carried out in sight of the visitors. It is wonderful to see the artists and craftspeople at work and many of the rooms being brought back into use, like The Music Room for concerts.

Restoration work in the music room

Music Room Plasterwork

The music room at Monserrate

The Music Room Today

Restored Music Room ceiling

The Restored Music Room Ceiling

Photographs on display in the Library show just how bad the condition of this fine room became during the latter half of the 20th century. Once the roof and walls were repaired work began on the individual rooms. Paying careful attention to detail the Library has now been recreated in its former glory.

The library before renovation

The library pre-renovation

The above two photos show the extent of the damage

The library now

The Library as it looks today

Example of library wallpaper

The Handmade Library Wallpaper

The library door

The Library Door

Library door (detail)

Detail of Library Door

The whole project makes me surprised that The Landmark Trust do not have an interest here as it definitely has the obligatory British connections that Landmark require of their overseas holdings. There are many follies and outbuildings ripe for occupation by we ‘Landmarkers’.


7 comments on “The Palace of Monserrate Restoration Project

  1. […] Most of our time was spent at the Park and Palace of Pena. It’s very popular; even on this Friday in April. There is lots to see in the Palace alone. Ongoing restoration could also be observed here as at Monserrate. […]

  2. Fran says:

    Simply stunning, what a wonderful palace, good to see it is being restored to it’s full glory.

  3. Yes — Landmark! We’ll meet you there.

  4. Marie-Noëlle says:

    Strangely enough, we were there last August for a week, staying at Colares, at a 15- minute drive. We did not go to Pena Castle – which looks gorgeous. But we visited another gorgeous place : the palace of Regaleira and its fabulous park instead. We spent hours there, forgetting time… Did you go there by any chance? Very good memories !
    What else did you see around ?

    • Well, I remembered you had been in Portugal last year but didn’t know it was the same region. You will have seen we also stayed overnight in Colares! We didn’t get to Regaleira although I really wanted to it was right by the hotel. My favourite place above all was Monseratte Palace and Gardens. I loved all the walking too but the coast was very special.

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