Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Visiting the Mafra Palace/Convent

During Mom and Dad's visit, we enjoyed relaxing at the apartment they were staying but also were able to enjoy some of the beautiful country and culture of Portugal.  One trip included a visit to the Mafra National Palace and Convent.  It was built in the 1700s by King John V to honor a vow he made to God that if He would give him an heir, he would build a convent.  Part of the vast structure served as a convent, although nuns never lived there, only monks.  The other part was a palace that the king would live in for about one month out of the year.  There are wonderful breezes that come off the ocean in this area, so it provided cool relief for the hottest month of the year.

Missionary and friend, Doug Fry, gave Dad and me a tour of Mafra Palace and Convent.  (Mom was not feeling well and couldn't join us.)

One of 29 courtyards

Part of the structure served as a convent, although nuns never lived here, only monks!  This is this a penitence room for the monks - including a weight to put around their neck, the whip that usually hangs next to the weight is missing.

One of 13 kitchens in the palace/convent

Infirmary for the monks

It's blurry, but you get the idea.

Looking through a window in one of the halls into the chapel which has 6 pipe organs!!

The large blue and white urns can be seen throughout the palace.  They are industrial size potpourri pots that were kept burning when the palace was occupied to cover the other "aromas" (daily bathing had yet to come on to the hygiene you can imagine).

Would this be referred to as a great-great grandfather clock?

Europe's largest one room library which holds 35,000 volumes

Can you tell what the theme of this room is???

More antler-ware

Across the street from the palace

You can learn more about this amazing palace at

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