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This baroque/rococo palace, once a property of the Portuguese royal family, was built in the mid 18th century, on the place of another older palace from a noble man that fell into disgrace one hundred years before. It has clear resemblances of many great royal palaces from its times, notably in its "French style" gardens which design was much the work of a french architect Jean-Baptiste Robillon with the help of the dutch gardener Jose Van del Kolk, although much experts claim that it still is much "portuguese" in some architectural details. Some call it the "portuguese Versailles", other compare it with Frederick the Great's palace of Sanssouci, near Berlin. I suspect that most European countries have there own "Versailles", so this is the closest one in Portugal.

Nowadays the palace is still used to some state ceremonies once in a while. Supposedly it's the official residence of foreign heads of state visiting Portugal and besides that some state dinner parties are held there when important foreign guest come visit the country.

It's actually a nice place to wander around, with its nice gardens and its non too excessive grandeur. Being less than 10 Km from home and with free entrances on Sunday mornings, I decided it was a good idea to go there and enjoy the Autumn sun one morning that I found myself at home with some time to spare until lunch. I confess I hadn't gone there since I was a child. Isn't it interesting and sad how we sometimes keep forgetting of the nice places where we can enjoy a couple of relaxing hours close to home? Consequence of TE, contrarily to what used to be my habits for these quick weekend breaks, I brought the camera with me.

Inside the block that is visible on the image, we attended for sometime an unexpected cute display: a recreation of the life of child princesses for a birthday party. I posted a photo of it as a WS.

You can browse all my posts of this area by following this link.

Location (latitude, longitude): 38.74974,-9.25873

Links to info on the palace and its gardens: Wikipedia, Portugal Virtual, Planetware.

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PP work: besides the usual cropping, colour balancing and saturation, sharpening after shrinking, etc., I spent some time trying to correct the tilt on the FG - strangely the building was perfectly straight, but the border of the fountain was (and still is) tilted. I also brightened the trees, which were too dark and applied different colour adjustment to the sky, where some excess red persisted. I tried putting the clouds more white without much success.

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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