São Bento Palace, details

Get to know the details of the São Bento Palace, a neoclassical style building built in 1598 by Baltazar Álvares, former Benedito monastery (Monastery of São Bento da Saúde).

Main facade of the São Bento Palace

The Main Facade of the São Bento Palace is by Miguel Ventura Terra (1866-1919), remodeled by the architect José Marques da Silva (1869-1947). The main façade of the Palace of São Bento stands out:

  • Four female statues represent, from left to right, Prudence, by Raúl Xavier (1894-1964), Justice, by Costa Motta (1877-1956), a Força, by Maximiano Alves (1888-1954) and Temperança, by Salvador Barata Feyo (1899-1990)
  • Pediment: located above the balcony, it is thirty meters long and six meters wide, by Simões de Almeida (1880-1950). The decoration of the eardrum reflects a reference to the ideological program of the Estado Novo (1933-1974). There are eighteen figures, namely the Fatherland, located in the center with the Latin inscription Omnia Pro Patria (All for the Nation), Industry and Commerce

Main Hall of São Bento Palace

The main lobby of the São Bento Palace stands out for its lioz stone floor to imitate marble and for the various busts namely the bust of Luís Vaz de Camões by José Aurélio, the bust of Hintze Ribeiro (1849-1907) and the bust of António Cândido (1850-1922) by Maximiano Alves (1888-1954), the bust of Bernardino Machado (1851-1944) by António Duarte (1912 -1998), the bust of António José de Almeida (1866-1929) by Joaquim Correia (1920-2013), the bust of Afonso Costa (1871-1937) by António Paiva (1926-1987), the bust of the President of the Constituent Assembly from 1975-1976, the bust of Henrique de Barros (1904-2000) by Lagoa Henriques (1923-2009). The busts are located in the locations of the old side chapels. O átrio principal era o local da antiga igreja do mosteiro. Nos corredores de acesso à Escadaria Nobre destacam-se cinco bustos de deputados importantes, nomeadamente o busto de Francisco Margiochi (1812-1879) da autoria de Anatole Camels (1822-1906), o busto de Anselmo Braamcamp Freire (1849-1921) da autoria de Costa Mota, o busto de Francisco Salgado Zenha (1923-1993) e o busto Francisco Sá Carneiro (1934-1980) da autoria de Carla Gonçalves (1971-)

Senate Hall of the São Bento Palace

The Senate Room was the former Chapter Room of the São Bento Monastery. The room has a semicircular floor in the form of an amphitheater, designed by Jean-François Colson. The main points of interest are:

  • The skylight on the ceiling that provides natural light to the room
  • Eight marble busts that represent some of the most important parliamentarians in history, namely the bust of the Duke of Palmela by António Cerqueira, the bust of Dom Guilherme, the bust of the Duke of Terceira by Manuel Bordalo Pinheiro, the bust of Conde do Lavradio by Miguel Santos, the bust of Duque de Loulé by Simões de Almeida, uncle, and the bust of Fontes Pereira de Melo by Simões de Almeida nephew
  • Table of the Presidency of the Assembly of the Republic with two bas-reliefs that include portraits of the Duke of Palmela and Dom Guilherme, Cardinal Patriarca de Lisboa, by Anatole Camels;
  • Portrait of King Dom Luís (1838-1889) by José Rodrigues (1828-1887).

Gallery of Presidents with emphasis on portraits painted in oil. Portrait of the President of the Constituent Assembly Henrique de Barros (1904-2000), by Pedro Girão and portraits of the twelve former Presidents of the Assembly of the Republic, namely: portrait of Vasco da Gama Fernandes, portrait of Teófilo Carvalho dos Santos, by Pedro Girão, portrait by Leonardo Ribeiro de Almeida, by Fernando Alves de Sousa, portrait by Francisco Oliveira Dias, by Maria Antónia Machado, portrait by Manuel Tito de Morais, by Pinheiro de Santa Maria, portrait by Fernando Amaral , by Fernando Alves de Sousa, portrait by Victo Crespo, by Maluda, portrait by António Barbosa de Melo, by Ana Duarte de Almeida, portrait by António Almeida Santos, by António Macedo, portrait by João Bosco Mota Amaral, by João Cruz Rosa, portrait by Jaime Gama, by Isabel Garcia and portrait by Maria da Assunção Esteves, by Isabel Guerra Peñamaria

Visiting Room of the President of the Assembly of the Republic

Visiting Room of the President of the Assembly of the Republic with emphasis on:

  • Portrait of King Dom Carlos I (1863-1908) by José Malhoa
  • Arraiolos rug embroidered especially for the living room

Noble Hall of the São Bento Palace

The Salão Nobre is currently used for official receptions, it was formerly the place where the high choir of the church of the Monastery of São Bento was located, having been built during the 1940s. The Salão Nobre was designed by Pardal Monteiro and features the following points of interest:

  • Seven paintings by Adriano Sousa Lopes’ office representing figures and events of the Portuguese Discoveries, namely the delivery of the plan for the realization of the Discoveries by Infante Dom Henrique to the captain of the Navy, the Tomada de Ceuta de 1415, the passage of Diogo Cão through the mouth of the river Zaire, the passage of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartolomeu Dias, the discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500, the conquest of Malacca by Dom Afonso de Albuquerque (1453-1515) and the reception of Vasco da Gama by the emissaries of Samorim
  • Balcony: it is the only balcony in the São Bento Palace building and stands out due to the presence of twelve columns and ten Corinthian pillars

Room of the Lost Steps of the São Bento Palace

The Passos Perdidos Room is the place where the meetings take place between the media, the deputies and the other members of the Government. The Passos Perdidos room is by Miguel Ventura Terra. The Hall of the Lost Steps has as main highlights the paintings to represent Viriato, by João Vaz, the Évora-Monte Convention of 1834 and the six panels, by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, who represent figures from the History of Portugal, namely:

  • Dom Dinis, João das Rules and Dom João II
  • Febo Moniz, Father António Vieira, Dom Luiz de Meneses (Count of Ericeira) and João Pinto Ribeiro
  • Count of Castelo Melhor, Dom Luís da Cunha, Marquis of Pombal and José Seabra da Silva
  • Manuel Fernandes Tomás, Manuel Borges Carneiro and Joaquim António de Aguiar
  • Mouzinho da Silveira, Duke of Palmela, Duke of Saldanha and José da Silva Carvalho
  • Passos Manuel, Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano and José Estevão de Magalhães

Sessions Room at São Bento Palace

The Sala das Sessões was inaugurated in 1903 after the fire that occurred in 1895. The Sala das Sessões was designed by Miguel Ventura Terra, being the place where the 230 deputies from left to right sit according to the ideology they represent, having as reference the Bureau of the President of the Assembly of the Republic. The highlights of the Sessions Room are :

  • Full-body statue representing the Republic, by Anjos Teixeira
  • Spotting scope representing the 1821 Constituent Courts, responsible for the 1822 Constitution, by the painter Veloso Salgado
  • Ceiling paintings, by Alves Cardoso, representing Science, Arts and Industry; a Fatherland, Peace and FortuneTrade and Agriculture
  • Six plaster statues representing Constitution, by Simões de Almeida, nephew, Law, by Francisco Santos, Jurisprudence, by Costa Mota, Eloquence, by Júlio Vaz Júnior, Justiça, by Costa Mota, nephew, and Diplomacy, by Maximiano Alves.

Acácio Lino Room of São Bento Palace

The Sala Acácio Lino is the current working room of a parliamentary group, it is designated in this way due to the presence of four paintings by Acácio de Magalhães Lino (1878-1956). The paintings represent important episodes in the History of Portugal, namely:

  • Battle of São Mamede
  • The 1640 Conspiracy
  • The Reconstruction of Lisbon by Marquês de Pombal
  • Allegory to the Fatherland, the Arts, Industry, Agriculture and the History of Portugal

Lisbon Room of São Bento Palace

Sala Lisboa is also called Sala Lino António, the author of the paintings found in the room. The paintings represent figures and events in the History of Portugal, namely:

  • Conquest of Lisbon by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1147
  • King Dom Dinis (1261-1325)
  • Infante Dom Henrique and the Portuguese Discoveries
  • The Marquis of Pombal and his Works

Refectory of the Monks of the São Bento Palace

In the room Refeitório dos Monges the eighteen tile panels from 1770 stand out, showing episodes from the life of São Bento

Hall of Arches of São Bento Palace

Sala dos Arcos is the current Parliamentary Historical Archive where you can find the documentation of Portuguese Constitutional History.

Interior Garden of the São Bento Palace

The interior garden of the São Bento Palace was designed by Miguel Ventura Terra and reformulated by António Lino in 1936 and 1937. The highlights of the interior garden are:

  • Sculptures by Leopoldo de Almeida (1898-1975) representing the eight provinces of Portugal during the Estado Novo, namely Trás-os-Montes, Minho, Beira Litoral, Beira Alta, Beira Baixa, Alentejo, Extremadura and Algarve, and the eight cities where the Courts took place: Guimarães, Braga, Porto, Lisbon, Leiria, Santarém, Évora and Almeirim

Staircase of the São Bento Palace

The Staircase of the São Bento Palace has as points of interest the Panels, by Jaime Martins Barata (1899-1970). The Panels represent the Courts of Leiria held in the 13th century, where representatives of the People were present for the first time, and represent allegories of Industry, Art, Science, Humanities, Agriculture and Commerce of the 15th century. The panels were inaugurated in 1944.

Dona Maria II Room of the São Bento Palace

Sala Dona Maria II was designed for conferences. Currently it is the place where the Conferences of Leaders of the Parliamentary Groups of the Assembly of the Republic meet. The main highlights of Sala Dona Maria II are:

  • Ceiling with mythological figures representing: Minerva, Mercury, Venus and Justice
  • Portrait of the Duke of Palmela (1781-1850), portrait of the Duke of Loulé (1804-1875) by António Félix da Costa (1887), portrait of the Count of Lavradio (1796-1870) and portrait of Dom Guilherme, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1793-1857)
  • Portrait of Fontes Pereira de Melo (1819-1887), portrait of João Crisóstomo (1811-1895), by Veloso Salgado (1864-1945), portrait of Duque de Ávila and Bolama (1807-188) and portrait of José Rodrigues de Carvalho (1830-1908), by José Nunes Ribeiro Júnior
  • Portrait of Queen Dona Maria II (1819-1853), of unknown authorship.

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