You can't feel the fresh, subtle perfume of the orange trees, but this place was once full of fruit trees that filled the outskirts’ farms of the city with colour.
The fertile lands were “irrigated” by the water lines that followed to the Tagus River (Sete Rios).
It was thus named “Quinta das Laranjeiras’’.
So much to tell: it survived the 1755 earthquake and the rebuilding of the city; it survived urban growth when the historic centre was so far away; it survived four centuries of progress.
The property had gone from hand to hand, from noblemen to from noblemen, since 1760, the earliest reference. According to their taste, styles and architectural features were introduced, so that what started as a rural house gained the status of a palatial residence. And, at the turn of the 19th century, the house had already adapted to the social living that promoted a bourgeois status.
Initially, it was part of the set that extended on both sides of the Laranjeiras Road. It was later detached from the famous property of the 1st Count of Farrobo, the palace and the theatre, and the farm remained on the right side of the public road.
Not everyone has preserved the heritage. Fortunately, Maria Emília Viana Homem Machado, the 3rd Countess of Caria, inherited the palace. With her husband, Boaventura Freire Corte-Real Mendes d'Almeida, they looked after the legacy. The former owners lent their title to the palace, which is now reborn, perpetuating memories.
Joaquim Pedro Quintela, 1st Count of Farrobo
Laranjeiras Road, circa 1940, © Eduardo Portugal
The façade is simple to the eye of the passer-by.
From the 18th century, holds treasures inside.
There's no point in peeking from afar, it's better to go in and meet it...
The scent of oranges.
Brushstrokes of colour on tiles.
Blow the dust of time...
History is left uncovered and its original beauty is preserved.
Lisbon reinvents itself with each new century. As it grows it will be sculpted, like a garden. Farms and urban parks became a necessity.
Being close to everything and far enough away, in a perfect balance with nature, is a challenge in the urban design, which opens paths to narrow distances.
Italy and France had been dictating landscape trends since the Renaissance. The humanist movement added the idea of man's power over nature. Everything was rational, organized, formal. The bushes delimited the passages, in a careful geometry, following the fashion of the French parterres. Statues were a must. Staircases and fountains completed the picture. A garden was a statement of the luxurious homes of the aristocracy and the upper bourgeoisie.
A large Magnolia tree dominates the central garden, where the swimming pool is located. The Aleppo Pine, cypresses and other species draw shadows. The staircase at the bottom, leads to the belvedere that lets you contemplate the garden. The decorative grammar is predominantly naturalistic, with a neoclassical matrix from the turn of the 19th century.
You can see boxwoods carving hedges around the two buildings that make up the estate. To the west of Block A, a tiled wall seats evoke old times. One sits waiting for the kiss of the sun. Yesterday as today, a garden is a perk and a delight.
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