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Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
© Embaixada de França
© Embaixada de França

Santos Palace – French Embassy in Portugal

  • Original Authors:
  • João Antunes
  • (1711)

  • Interventions:
  • Carlos Rebelo de Andrade ,
  • Guilherme Rebelo de Andrade
  • (1937)
  • Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos
  • (1982)

With a privileged location, near the river, this palace tells a long story, marked by consecutive changes in its occupation. Between the 12th and 15th centuries, it was the Convent of Santos, exclusive to daughters and widows of the Knights of the Order of Santiago, and, in the 16th century, it became royal residence, especially for the wedding ceremonies of King Manuel I of Portugal. Later on, it was acquired by the Lancastre family, which commissioned João Antunes with remarkable embellishments. It was during this period that the palace was extended through the big halls — opening, to the East, towards the garden — and decorated by painter Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho. In 1909, the palace is acquired by the French government and, according to the project by architects Carlos and Guilherme Rebelo de Andrade, a new volume is added to the western wing — where, in 1937, the French Institute is established. In 1948, the palace becomes the French Embassy in Portugal, going through a final intervention between 1980 and 1982, according to architect Gonçalo Byrne’s project.

Rua Santos-o-Velho, 5
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Palaces and Convents

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