The idyllic setting of Palácio dos Marqueses da Fronteira, at the foot of Monsanto Forest Park, is in sharp contrast to the concrete jungle of Sete Rios. The palace was built for the Mascarenhas family, who still own it today.
The Jesuit super-missionary St Francis Xavier supposedly said mass in the chapel here before leaving for India in 1541. The palace itself was mostly put up in the 1670s, then rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake.
The Sala das Batalhas is decorated with 17thcentury azulejos depicting battles against Spain during the war of restoration (1640-68), while the rest of the complex of halls, courtyards and gardens is a veritable museum of baroque statuary. Guided tours last about an hour; arrive a few minutes early.
Palácio dos Marqueses da Fronteira
Largo de São Domingos de Benfica 1, Lisbon
Phone: +351 217 782 023
Hours: June-Sept 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12.30pm Mon-Sat. Oct-May 11am, noon Mon-Sat.