Jardins da Quinta da Brejoeira
UNESCO World Heritage Designation :
Type of Historical Garden:
Formalist garden and a landscape park (1910)
Quinta da Brejoeira – Pinheiros 4950-660 Monção, Portugal
Quinta da Brejoeira
Google Maps Coordinates:
42o 02’ 29’’ N, 8o 29’ 39’’ O
Access from the provincial capital :
A28 until Caminha; N13 until Monção; N101 until Palácio da Brejoeira
Access from the nearest place to the site :
From 09H00 to 12H30 and from 14H00 to 18H30
Visitors’ Reception Centre
Activities for the general public
Parking for private vehicles
Parking for buses
Access for people with disabilities or reduced
Image credits: “Palacio da Brejoeira – Viticutores, S.A.”.
Natural environment of the garden
Brejoeira Estate is located in the municipality of Monção, on the left bank of the river Minho, which borders Portugal and the Spanish autonomous region of Galicia. The region in which it is situated is known as Alto Minho which is characterized by distinct natural, landscape and cultural values and which are the basis of a growing demand as a favourite recreational and tourism destination. From Monção to the sea is about 45km. The property is located in the flat river beds adjacent to the mountains where the altitude exceeds 1000m. It benefits from the Atlantic influence, has a temperate climate with expressive values of rainfall that make the region particularly lush.
Historical background of the garden
Luis Pereira Velho Moscoso (1767-1837), nobleman of the royal house, began the construction of the palace at the beginning of the 19th century in a property then known as Quinta do Vale da Rosa. However, the works of the house were finished by his son Simão Pereira Moscoso (1805-1881) and directed by Domingos Pereira. There are still many memories of the social events and distinguished visitors in the palace from those days as well as from the times of Pedro Maria da Fonseca Araújo (1862-1922), president of the Oporto Trade Association, who in 1901 bought Brejoeira Estate. The palace underwent a series of improvement works under the guidance of the architect Ventura Terra, including a winter garden, and Pedro Aráujo invited the landscape gardener Jacinto de Matos, from Porto, to design the gardens and the park.
Jacinto de Matos (d. 1948), inheritor of the nursery founded by his father, was the author of a group of parks and gardens that are among the most representative of all that were produced in Portugal in the first decades of the twentieth century. He must have started his professional activity as a landscape gardener in 1880 from his father’s nursery and dedicating much of his practice to parks and gardens design. In the catalogue of the nursery from 1910 he titles Brejoeira as the largest park of Portugal.
Brejoeira Estate was bought by Francisco d’Oliveira Paes in 1937 and his daughter Maria Hermínia d’Oliveira Paes (1918-2015) restructured the estate and planted the vineyard, marketed the prestigious “Palácio da Brejoeira” wine of Alvarinho variety. Some of the vineyards occupied a part of the park however the majority replaced extensive areas of fruit trees. It is classified as a National Monument since 1910 and still is one of the most remarkable ‘quintas de recreio’ of Portugal.
Description of the Garden
Brejoeira is accessed by a monumental gate that opens to an immense courtyard that has at the end, to the west, the imposing house and is flanked by enormous tree masses. The house and the woods are surrounded by extensive vineyards that produce the famous wine ‘Alvarinho’ and the property is walled around.
The courtyard has a first terrace with an oval-shaped lawn that in the initial design would be constituted by several flower beds being very simplified today in both the form and the floristic composition. On a slightly higher level there is a new terrace which gives access to the house and the stables on the left, where today is the reception of the Palace.
To the side of the house lays the camellia garden that develops on several levels and leads to the linden avenue that crosses the park. Behind the house several other gardens are developed, among them the Swans garden. They connect with each other through flights of stairs and have various fountains. In addition to the various gardens, there are several farm buildings, namely the old wine cellar, and in all directions, you can see the vineyards.
In the landscape park there are several equipments such as the big lake of naturalized forms with an island and a grotto-belvedere – where huge cedars and redwoods are present – and also the tennis courts today with other functions. The grove is dense and diverse, with abundant oaks, linden, plane trees, cedars, sequoias, criptomeria, horse-chestnut trees etc.
1601 – date in the chapel of the estate
1806 – probable date of the beginning of the construction of the palace by Luis Pereira Velho Moscoso (1767-1937), nobleman of the royal house
1834 – the works of the house were finished by Simão Pereira Moscoso (1805-1881), son of Luis Moscoso, and directed by Domingos Pereira
1901 – Pedro Maria da Fonseca Araújo (1862-1922) buys Brejoeira Estate and does important works of improvement having called the architect Ventura Terra and the landscape gardener Jacinto de Matos to plant the park
1937 – Brejoeira Estate is bought by Francisco d’Oliveira Paes and his daughter Maria Hermínia d’Oliveira Paes (1918-2015)
1964 – Maria Hermínia d’Oliveira Paes restructured the estate and planted the vineyard, marketed the prestigious “Palácio da Brejoeira” wine of Alvarinho variety.
1999 – the company Palácio da Brejoeira – Viticultores, S.A. was created and manages the property
2010 – opening to the public, while Maria Hermínia continued living in the palace till her death in 2015
Brief description of the Interpretation Centre/Museum
Entering the main entrance of the house, the different halls and rooms offer a nineteenth-century atmosphere of a residence where even today remain the echoes of magnificent parties and the name of the illustrious visitors. The visit of the house includes the passage through the winter garden and one exits directly to the camellia garden and, from here, has access to the park as well as the agricultural constructions, namely the old wine cellar. Today there is a modern cellar. In the shop one can try and the wine and brandies and buy souvenirs.