The Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira (Palacio da Fronteira)

(To view the gallery images in full size simply click them)

One of the MAJOR benefits of studying the Arts here in Lisbon is having the privilege of visiting many of the most beautiful architectural and decorative marvels the city has to offer. We often visited places which aren´t very known to foreigners, even to many local Lisbonians. The place I´m going to introduce you to today is by far one of my very favorites, it´s called the Palacio da Fronteira, in english the Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira and it´s located in the Benfica area of Lisbon, next to the Tile Museum.

This stunning historical masterpiece is as it states, the Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira. The first part of the palace was built in 1640 for Dom João de Mascarenhas, the first Marquis of Fronteira. Who, for his allegiance to Portugal´s King Pedro, was given the nobel title of Marquis of Fronteira or ´protector of the border´ (in modern day terms, border patrol).

The history of this family and this palace is extraordinary and I could write a book about it. But I wont, so I´ll just tell you a bit about the decorative aspects of the Palace and try keep this post mostly visual. Afterall “a picture is worth a thousand words” right? In that case this will be the longest blog post I´ve ever written.

I visited the Palace in 2012 with my Art History class as a study visit (vista de estudo), to study the beautiful Portuguese tiles (azulejos). The azulejos are EVERYWHERE here, inside the Palace, outside the Palace, in the absolutely stunning topiary garden which is meticulously groomed to perfection; full of deliciously fragrant flowers and plants.  The architecture of this place is spectacular! From the bridge structure in the garden covered in Azulejos, overlooking the topiary and dominating a pond which is home to black swans and various fish. Amazing statuary lines another exterior location beside the garden. Close by is a small chapel with a ceiling embellished with seashells and broken pieces of ceramic.

The interior of the palace is another site to behold. The ceilings have some of the most gorgeous frescos (a mural painting technique) and stucco work I´ve ever seen and believe me, I´ve seen alot. The dining room is beautiful, family portraits line the walls. There is an old, and I mean old, library inside as well, with all kinds of examples of the earliest technology and extremely old books, I love books. The beautiful furniture in all of the rooms are from various historical styles; this is definately a place you NEED to put on your bucketlist!

The Palace is still privately owned by the descendants of Dom João de Mascarenhas but is open to the public at specific times for guided tours. In the garden you are free to stroll around as desired but once inside the Palace you will have to follow the guide.

Here are the visiting hours for guided tours:


June to September: 10:30AM, 11:00AM, 11:30AM and 12:00AM
October to May: 11:00AM and 12:00 AM
All visits are guided tours
Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Groups of 10 or more, please call (+351) 217.782.023


Palácio Fronteira
Largo de São Domingos de Benfica, 1

1500-554 Lisboa]