Situated in the historic city center of Guimarães, near its famous castle, is the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, a stately building built during the fifteenth century, which is configured as one of the most beautiful buildings of this amazing time in Portugal.
The building was built in order to serve for housing of the Dukes of Bragança and currently no longer part of the city walls, or is within any defensive structure.
The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza was built by King Afonso, 1st Duke of Braganza, a Burgundian style that reflects their architectural tastes acquired in the various trips he made in Europe.
The building has a central courtyard and has four towers, one in each of its four corners.
It was the four bodies which are contruidos around the central courtyard which the life of the palace was organized.
In the southwest body on the first floor, is the portal that serves as the entrance to the chapel, in the form of pointed archivolts, which are based on small columns.
As for coverage, its composition is wood travejamento.
The various windows, which are spread across four bodies of the Palace of the Dukes, have rectangular shape and are maineladas, with its chamfered edges.
The building is topped by a crown of battlements. The original design, the facade that is most conserved is the posterior fachado, while the remaining change much.
Inside the Palace, all the arcade is new, which makes it difficult to know-what would be your original.Não aspect is well known to those who attribute the authorship of the Dukes of Bragança Palace project.
In fact, there are documented references to the work of a master mason of French origin in the year 1460, his name Anton, who resided in the city of Guimarães.
However, there is nothing that can lead to state that this has been the author of Prince Afonso housing design.
Still, since the structure of the building is not similar to the Portuguese buildings of that time and since the person who commissioned its construction was Alfonso, the king’s illegitimate son John I of Portugal, and one of the richest Portuguese, educated and traveled this time, it is almost certain that the project has been conducted by a foreign author, probably French, as it is in France that we can find a similar buildings with this.
The Palace of the Dukes of Bragança was the initial house after the wedding with Alfonso D. Constance de Noronha, his second wife. The Palace continued to be inhabited by his descendants until, in 1576, dies Duarte, 5th Duke of Guimarães and grandson of King Manuel I.
Thus, it is from the late sixteenth century the Palace ends up abandoned and begins to degrade. Still, served as military headquarters during the nineteenth century, and only in the twentieth century came under restoration work and recreation, going to gain momentum as the official residence of the President of the Republic in the north.
Currently, the Dukes of Bragança Palace serves as Museum.