Palácio Nacional de Mafra

Mafra - Mafra

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The monumental Mafra National Palace and Convent construction was ordered by king João the 5th in the first half of the 18th century, in consequence of a promise that the young king had made to himself hoping to obtain a descendant with his wife, D. Maria Ana de Áustria.
This is the most significant monument of the baroque architectural style in Portugal, integrating a Royal Palace, a Basilica (housing a set of six organs, unique worldwide, and two carillons totalling 114 bells - 57 in each tower), a Franciscan Convent and a very important Library, that demonstrates the encyclopaedic knowledge of the 18th century.
The work was directed by João Frederico Ludovice, a German jeweller, with formation in architecture in Italy, that adopted a classical baroque model, inspired in the Christian Rome, and with some Germanic influences. The works initiated in 1717, and on the 22nd of October 1730, day of the 41º anniversary of the king, proceeded the Basilica inauguration.
The greatest treasure of Mafra is its Rocaille Library, the most important monastic-royal library of the 18th century in Portugal, with a collection of more han 40 000 books organized into a system that has survived to this day, including 16th, 17th and 18th century books, many of them highly rare, such as the 22 foreign incunabula and 41 maps.

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