Mafra Palace, Convent and Royal Hunting Park
Mafra Palace, Convent and Royal Hunting Park is part of the Tentative list of Portugal in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
- ●● Tentative
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Mafra is a huge baroque palace complex North of Lisbon. When I arrived the sheer size of the site was impressive. Situated on a hill overlooking the coast, this is a clear statement of absolutism and the wealth generated in the Brazilian colony.
However, when you move in or around the palace it feels like being built for size and show, not quality. The backside of the palace is pretty mundane as is the attached park. And in the interior the hallways are vast, but there is an emptiness to it. Some of it may be due to the French invasion and the best art pieces being moved to Brazil. But the prime inhabitants, the royals, also seem to have felt the same way as they didn't move in permanently either.
Another run of the mill Baroque palace/monastery, what more is there to say? I have seen plenty of these (and better ones at that). Compared to nearby Sintra it lacks the special Portuguese touch, Sintra's rich history and Sintra's great park. Consequently, I don't feel this merits inscription.
A bus runs more or less hourly from Lisbon to Mafra. Check http://www.mafrense.pt/.
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2004 - Submitted