Mateus Palace is a manor house built in the 18th century, one of the most beautiful representatives of the baroque period in Portugal.
Its construction bears the signature of Nicolau Nasoni, known for the construction of the Clérigos Tower in Porto. The Palace consists of the main House, the beautiful gardens, the Cellar and a Chapel.
Inside the House we can find a library, where the famous illustrated edition of Luís de Camões’ Lusíadas, published in 1816, stands out among the many books. Various pieces of furniture, carpets, crockery and robes can be found in the various rooms.
The Casa de Mateus was built in the first half of the 18th century by António José Botelho Mourão, the 3rd Morgado de Mateus. It replaces the family house already existing on the site in the early 17th century. In 1911 it was classified as a National Monument.
The Italian-style Baroque architecture is attributed to Nicolau Nasoni for its coherence of style and similarity to other works of his authorship. According to Robert Smith, an expert on his work, the architect dedicated the years between 1739 and 1743 to the construction of the House, or at least to its central façade and decoration.
The sculpture by João Cutileiro, which has been sleeping in the lake since 1981, is already part of the image of the House.
Mateus Palace is situated about 3 kms from Vila Real. You can park your car for free in front of the main entrance or on one of the palace’s side streets. Parking inside the palace is paid.
When you enter, you will find the ticket office on your right hand side and a dirt track surrounded by trees. As you pass through the path the trees open up and you come across a beautiful view of Mateus Palace, and its lake. It is a picture worthy of a postcard.
Following around the lake, you can make your way to the main house. Guided tours start at the Winery, located to the left of the palace. The gardens can be accessed by passing through the ground floor of the house, next to the stables or by circling the palace to your right.
Since visits start at set times you can, make time by strolling through the beautiful gardens. The gardens are beautifully laid out, and outlined with verdant bush and flower beds. A tunnel of cedars covers the rising staircase in front of which there is a lake.