Portuguese royal treasure, exhibited for the first time in a palace in Lisbon, whose construction lasted 226 years

The Portuguese Royal Treasury Museum, a unique collection that has been without a display space for decades, has finally found its rightful place in the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon, a monument whose construction was completed after 226 years.

The museum opened its doors to visitors on Thursday in the modern wing of this imposing white neoclassical building, the residence of the last monarchs of Portugal, located on the hills of the Belem tourist district.

Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia

Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
Portuguese royal treasure, on display for the first time in a palace in Lisbon. Photo: Profimedia
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“Following the trauma associated with an earthquake and the tsunami it caused in 1775, the royal family decided to move here, away from the river and to an area less sensitive to seismic activity,” explained Jose Alberto Ribeiro, director of the Ajuda Palace and the new museum, quoted by Agerpres.

This is where the last kings of the Bragance dynasty lived until the proclamation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910.

But its construction, which had grown in the nineteenth century, had never been completed. It lacked the West Wing, which, due to lack of funds or political changes, remained unfinished for more than two centuries.

An investment of 31 million euros finally allowed the construction of this missing part in 2021, with a structure of contemporary architecture and a ribbed facade, to house the Royal Treasure Museum.

The public showed up in large numbers at the eagerly awaited opening due to the importance of its collection: over 1,000 objects, some exhibited for the first time, which bring together Portuguese crown jewelery and precious metal ornaments.

Until now, these objects dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth century were widespread in various places and were not accessible to the general public.

The route of the visit, immersed in an uncomfortable obscurity for some of the visitors, presents one by one these symbols of royal power: crowns, sceptres, badges and medals, as well as precious objects such as gold nuggets and diamonds extracted from Brazil.

The value of the exhibited works, some exceeding the threshold of 1 million euros, required the adoption of special security measures.

The museum space, dotted with surveillance cameras, is organized on three floors inside a huge hall, one of the largest in the world, which is 40 meters long and 10 meters high. Access is allowed through two five-ton armored doors each and the entire collection is protected by bulletproof windows.

Publisher: AP

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