Seteais Palace

Coordinates: 38°47′47″N 9°23′46″W / 38.79639°N 9.39611°W / 38.79639; -9.39611
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Seteais Palace
Palácio de Seteais
Alternative namesTivoli Palácio de Seteais Hotel
Hotel chainTivoli Hotels & Resorts
General information
StatusLuxury hotel
Architectural styleNeoclassic
LocationSintra, Portugal
Tivoli Palácio de Seteais website
Part ofCultural Landscape of Sintra
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv), (v)
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
CriteriaMonument of Public Interest
Designated28 June 1947
Reference no.IPA.00006094

The Seteais Palace (Portuguese: Palácio de Seteais) is a neoclassical palace located in Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera, operating as a luxury hotel known as the Tivoli Palácio de Seteais Hotel. The palace is a national landmark and is included in the UNESCO Cultural Landscape of Sintra World Heritage Site listing.


View from the palace gardens.

Jose Alfredo mentions in “Seteais fields” that this field is very old and has always been an integral part of the precinct behind the palace. Some people believe that its name comes from the tradition of shouting “ai” on the road where its echo is repeated 7 times. On the other hand, a very old manuscript by an anonymous author kept in Sintra library mentions that the origin of the word of Seteais derives from the land named Centeais where rye (Portuguese: Centeio) was being cultivated.[1]


The triumphal arch erected in honor of the 1802 visit of King João VI of Portugal and Queen Carlota Joaquina of Spain to Seteais Palace.

The Seteais Palace was built between 1783 and 1787 for the Dutch consul Daniel Gildemeester, on lands granted by the Marquis of Pombal.

Although Daniel Gildemeester had a land in the neighborhood of Quinta da Alegria property, there was not any house to live in. So Gildemeester had lived in the Palace of Marquis of Pombal as a tenant during summer. He started to build his own mansion close to the property (Monserrate Palace) of his friend British consul Gerard de Visme in order to leave the Palace of Marquis of Pombal.[1]

The consul chose to build his house on the border of an elevation, from which the vast landscape around the Sintra hills could be admired. The palace was surrounded with a large garden with fruit trees.

In 1797, some years after the consul's death, his widow sold the palace to Diogo José Vito de Menezes Noronha Coutinho, 5th Marquis of Marialva. The palace was enlarged between 1801 and 1802, probably by neoclassical architect José da Costa e Silva, author of the São Carlos Theatre in Lisbon. The palace was turned into a symmetrical U-shaped building, with the consul's house becoming one of its wings. The cornice of the buildings that compose the main façade was decorated with typical neoclassical motifs like vases, busts and reliefs of garlands. The gardens of the palace were remodelled following romantic trends.

The old and the new wings were connected in 1802 by a neoclassical arch, built in honour of Prince regent John VI and Princess Carlota Joaquina, who visited the palace in that year. The monumental arch, decorated with the bronze effigies of the royal pair and a commemorative Latin inscription, is attributed to architect Francisco Leal Garcia.

The walls of several inner rooms of the palace were decorated with frescos attributed to French painter Jean Pillement and his followers. Painted motifs include exotic vegetation and mythological characters, typical of the neoclassical taste.

After changing hands several times, the palace was acquired by the Portuguese government in 1946. The Seteais Palace has been used as a luxury hotel since 1954 but its original characteristics have been preserved.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Serra de Sintra | Palácio de Seteais". Retrieved 2017-08-24.

External links[edit]

38°47′47″N 9°23′46″W / 38.79639°N 9.39611°W / 38.79639; -9.39611