The Ducal Palace
The Ducal Palace of the Bragança in Guimarães was ordered built in the 15th Century by Afonso - an illegitimate son of king João I and Inês Pires Esteves - which was the 1st Duke of the House of Bragança and the 8th Count of Barcelos. He had it built at the time of his second marriage with Constança of Noronha (daughter of Afonso, Count of Gijón and Noronha and Isabel, Lady of Viseu).
The Palace was only inhabited permanently during the 15th Century and in the following centuries a progressive abandonment and consequent ruin settled. This condition was only altered when - in the 19th century - what was left of the Palace was reused so a military barracks could be installed in its premises and, in the 20th century, due to political motivations, it was fully rebuilt.
Between 1937 and 1959 a complex reconstruction was carried out based on a project by the architect Rogério de Azevedo. At the same time, a Commission was created to gather a group of objects, dating mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, in order to assemble the interiors.
The Ducal Palace of the Bragança was classified as a National Monument in 1910 - even before its reconstruction - and is currently a dependency of the Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte. Inside there is a Museum (1st floor), a wing for the Presidency of the Republic (main facade, 2nd floor) and a vast area dedicated to several cultural initiatives (on the ground floor).
The Ducal Palace of the Bragança is one of the most visited Museums in Portugal both by Portuguese as well as foreigners.
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