sexta-feira, 26 de outubro de 2012
Mafra's Baroque royal palace
The words "massive," "monumental," "gigantic," "colossal," and "vast" fail to describe the scale of Mafra's Baroque royal palace. The grandiose monument was built in 1717 to celebrate the birth of a daughter to King João V and includes a convent and a basilica.
The extravagant king wanted the palace and basilica to compete in magnificence and grandeur with Spain's Escorial and St. Peter's in Rome, and at the time it seemed that such a huge project would never be completed. At one point there were 45,000 men working on it, and several artists came from abroad, with 7,000 soldiers overseeing the workforce. They ended up creating 5,200 doorways, 2,500 windows, 880 halls and rooms, 154 staircases, 29 courtyards, and two bell towers boasting the world's largest collection of bells (57 in each) that can be heard for 24km (15 miles) when they're played on Sunday.
In 1720 the French ambassador reported to his king that all the money in Iberia would be insufficient to pay for it, but the gold that flowed in from the rich mines of Brazil made it possible in 1735.