29 November 2017


Noted as one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in all of Portugal, Mateus Palace is the most picturesque estate I ever did see. Washes of unadulterated white contrasting against vivid and lush overgrowth and paired with immaculately manicured gardens of coordinating white roses. Words can't truly describe the grandeur and opulence such a place exudes. Architectural charm and flamboyant character, sadly no longer replicated or embraced by modern society.

Part of this estate is in fact a private residence, having remained within the same family for generations. Albeit as a mere vacation home. Fancy that. Having such a place to escape to for one or two weeks out of a whole year. And it was through my wonderful friend Jessika who informed me of such an existenceUnbelievably, this estate is a mere twenty minute drive from my parents hometown of Chaves. And after vacationing here on numerous occasions as a child, I had no idea such a place existed. Even more implausibly is that my mothers favourite wine is the Mateus Rose. You know that Portuguese wine with the oddly shaped bottle featuring an illustration of a palace on its label. Yes that same drawing is this very place. And contrary to belief the infamous Mateus vino is not produced using these vineyards. The company merely pays the estate to use their name and image. That said they do bottle their own wine which you can easily sample and purchase here. 

To say I was blown away was an understatement. For one, such grandeur literally lay mere steps away from me unexplored. And secondly that such a site existed in one of my favorite Portuguese towns Vila Real

How had such grandeur escaped me for so long? 

Better late then never I suppose.

Entry into the palace grounds are free, however to peruse the interiors a tour guide is needed. Though I'm not one for tours, this is one I highly recommend. The interiors of this Palace are as equally palatial as the outer. Laden with yesteryear and historic relics, I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so taken aback by how grandiose and extensive this collection of antiquities is. 

As some parts remain as a private residence, certain sections are closed to the public. Regardless what remains is more than satisfactory with nearly have of the interiors free to be explored. My favorite room was the library. Another luxurious but intimate room with floor to ceiling shelving housing countless reading material and artwork. Numerous first editions, God knows dating back to when. Books brimming with handwritten tales, mostly on the history of Portugal. Their size about as ostentatious as the estate, some as large as an A3 paper. All hand sewn and bound in leather, their bindings worn with wear, time and narratives. How I wanted to explore each and every single title and I never, ever leave. And how I envied this family for such a covetable collection keepsakes. 

While the interiors are memorable and highly desirable, the grounds also hold their own unique charms. Thoroughly spotted with fanciful hedging alongside an abundance of grape vines. You could spend a good part of your day here wandering delightfully aimlessly. From filigree type hedging and stonework fountains to a mammoth shallow lake boarded by pine trees and blooms. The entire setting feels akin to an exotic Austen novel, architecture mingling with flora easily transporting one to yesteryear. 

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  1. Wow amazing pictures!!

    Mónica Sors

  2. Everything looks really magnificent!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  3. Oh wow what a great find! it's amazing the places you can spend time near and know nothing about isn't it? So many hidden gems around this area I'm only just discovering and I moved here when I got married over 8 years ago, haha!

    Hope you are having a lovely week, and you got some bargains in the sales. I ended up grabbing a little something on Cyber Monday after resisting temptation all weekend, haha!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  4. Oh wow! First time I've heard of Mateus Palace, Sonia! It does look like something out of a Jane Austen novel! Can you imagine calling this your vacation home? Sigh....someday....:D

  5. Amazing place!


  6. Such a beautiful place, I love the grape vines in the shot, so pretty!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  7. The grounds are certainly in a calibre of its own and what a sight! I'm so glad that you featured this and gave us a virtual tour. It's always nice to discover a stunning place that takes your breath away. x/Madison

  8. Wow Sonia! Just WOW! The details displayed in the architecture are absolutely exquisite. A vacation home!?! I can't even imagine. That family is so lucky. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. Wow that is some impressive architecture!! I would love for that to be my vacation home, what a lucky family.

  10. Many decades ago when I used to drink, I did drink Mateus Rose wine on a number of occasions. I had not realised that the picture on the label was from such a large and fascinating palace on a real-life estate. Your picturesque photos and descriptions of it are marvellous and fascinating.


  11. Wow Sonia, you make me dream! Its so impressive and amazing, wish I was there right now! Its magical and seems from a storybook! xo

  12. I am speechless, this place is spectacular. i have been in Portugal but t I have never had a chance to visit this amazing place!

  13. wow this looks like amazing place! Beautiful pictures x


  14. This is such an amazing place :) Nice pictures! Wonderful post dear <3
    Beauty and Fashion Freaks

  15. What beautiful, lush grounds! This is definitely going on my travel list - it's such a beautiful estate and i want to see the library!
    How wonderful that you have such history close by as well! It's funny what wonderful things are right by us right?

  16. I totally get that Jane Austen vibe you speak of. How crazy that this place is hidden and not many appreciate its beauty anymore. I would have loved to have taken a look at the library myself. :)) You descrived it beautifully. Glad you found this hidden gem and got to explore it to share with us. I looks straight out of a novel! I'm a Jane Austen fan for sure. :))


  17. Excellent pics!
    Have a nice evening!
    Gil Zetbase

  18. I love visiting old, historical buildings like this when I travel to Europe!! Portugal must be an amazing place, can't wait to see all its beauty one day <3 Gorgeous photos btw!
    xo Samantha

  19. So cool to discover a place like this near your city!! It looks so beautiful!!

    Thanks for sharing!!


    Seize your Style

  20. wow it looks gorgeous there. I love all these pictures.

  21. I adore baroque architecture, such a wonderful place! Also the greenery looks beautiful!


  22. It's very close to my house. It's my hometown. And this palace is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. didnt know the history of wine. It's my favorite wine ♡

  23. Mateus Palace certainly looks magnificent and it's impressive how both it and the grounds are so well maintained. It's amazing to think of how it is a private residence and vacation home. To vacation there must be heavenly :D

  24. Oh my gosh, what a spectacular place! Is it sad I'm seeing about 20 different 'perfect locations' for photoshooting? haha! The first photo in this post is breathtakingly beautiful; those reflections, wow...


  25. It's so stunning and perfect, wow. I'd love to be whisked away here!


  26. The place looks so surreal! You're vacation experience there must've bee really good!

    Sheena |http://sheenalovessunsets.com

  27. Gorgeous shots of such impressive architecture! Love the large expanses of white contrasted with the bright foliage, such a beautiful location!

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  28. Wow this place is AMAZING! The architecture is so beautiful! I definitely need to keep this place in mind if I get the chance to visit Portugal! :)

    xo, Chloe // https://funinthecloset.com/off-shoulders-fall/


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