Jardim do Palácio Fronteira


UNESCO World Heritage Designation : No
Type of Historical Garden: Baroque Garden, inaugurated in 1670.

Palácio Fronteira - Largo São Domingos de Benfica nº 1 – 1500-554 Lisboa Portugal


(+351) 217 782 023 / (+351) 217 784 599

Web: fronteira-alorna.pt
E-mail: fundacao@fronteira-alorna.pt / fcfa-cultura@fronteira-alorna.pt
Region: Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Municipality : Lisbon
Town : São Domingos de Benfica, Lisbon
Place : Lisbon
Google Maps Coordinates:

38º44'25.33 N; 9º10'49.64 W
38.740554 -9.180420

Access from the provincial capital :

Direct. Lisbon bus Bus nr. 770 stops in front of the palace gate

Access from the nearest place to the site :

Within the limits of the city of Lisbon. Bus nr. 770 stops in front of the palace gate.

Opening times
Opening times:

Palace: The interior of the palace is only open to visitors in the morning. All visits to the interior of the Palace are guided tours.
June-September: Monday-Saturday 10h30; 11h00; 11h30 and 12h00.
October-May: Monday-Saturday 11h00 and 12h00.
Group visits: for groups of 10 people or more, please call in advance (+351) 217 782 023.

June-Setember: Monday to Friday from 10h30 to 13h00 (last admittance 12h30) and from 14h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h30). Saturday from10h30 to 13h00 (last admittance 12h30).
October-May: Monday to Friday from 11h00 to 13h00 (last admittance 12h30) and from 14h00 to 17h00 (last admittance 16h30).
Saturday from 11h00 to 13h00 (last admittance 12h30).


Visitors’ Reception Centre

Interpretation Centre

Associated museum

Guided visits


Educational workshops

Activities for the general public

Parking for private vehicles

Parking for buses

Access for people with disabilities or reduced



Souvenir shop


     Others: Bookcrossing official point


Nearest parking for buses:

In front of the facilities

Nearest parking for private vehicles:

In front of the facilities

Days open to the public: Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Age restrictions:

There are none

Types of visits:

All visits to the interior of the Palace are guided.
Garden visits are not guided.

Duration of visits:

1 hour

Maximum number of visitors in a group:

25 in the interior of the palace. 45 in the garden.

Maximum number of visitors per day:


Admission fees:

Gardens: 4 € person / Palace and Gardens: 9 € person. Thematic walks: 13€


Group visits: for groups of 10 people or more, please call in advance (+351) 217 782 023 or email (fundacao@fronteira-alorna.pt).

Prior purchase of tickets:


Educational workshops:

“A picnic with the Marquis”, on Saturdays at 10h30 a.m. for Children under 12

Activities for the public:

YES. Concerts, Book club, Lectures, Open courses, Seminars.

Nearest cultural destinations:

– Museum of Music: www.museunacionaldamusica.gov.pt

Nearest natural destinations:

– Lisbon Zoo:  www.zoo.pt

– Monsanto Forest Park:


Nearby accommodation:


Nearby restaurants:


Crafts, gastronomy, gift shops etc., at the site or in the area:





Image Credits: “Fundação das Casas de Fronteira e Alorna”.

Natural environment of the garden

The Garden of Fronteira is situated on the slope of Park of Monsanto, a forest park located West of Lisbon.
The Park of Monsanto is located mostly on the basaltic mantle of the Mafra-Lisbon Volcanic Complex and is still composed of other surrounding formations, namely calcareous. With about 900ha this is an area of old human occupation with prehistoric vestiges. Planting began in the decade of 1930 on extensive areas of intense cereal cultivation. During nine decades it has undergone successive plantations and today it presents a dense forest in which dominate extensive areas of umbrella pine (Pinus pinea) and pine of alepo (Pinus halepensis), Cupressus spp. Eucaliptus globulus Labill., Acacia spp, Quercus faginea L., Quercus suber L. x Quercus rotundifolia L. and Olea europaea L..


Historical background of the garden

The Garden was built during the years 1668-1670 by the 1st Marquis of Fronteira, as a celebration of the victory of the Portuguese armies against Spain, in the wars of Restoration of Independence (1640-1668). Dom João de Mascarenhas, who commissioned the garden, became the 1st Marquis of Fronteira as a reward of his distinguished participation in these wars. The iconographical program of the garden is a celebration of both events. Portuguese independence is celebrated through the inclusion of a gallery with the busts of Portuguese kings. The attribution of the title to the Marquis is alluded through the statue of the allegory of Occasio (Opportunity). The exuberant decoration in panels of tiles (azulejos) alluding to the role of the nobility as the support of kings, as well as to the renewal of court life after the war, contribute to the richness of a decorative program allusive to war and peace, as well as to the exaltation of Portuguese monarchy and identity.


Description of the Garden

This historical garden is composed of a formal garden with a classical parterre with geometrical flowerbeds bordered with boxwood. The formal garden has a large Basin called the Knights Pond on the south. It is surrounded by walls decorated with panels of tiles representing the 12 months of the year (East) the 12 signs of the Zodiac (North) and the four elements, planets and constellations (West). In contrast to what happened in the city of Lisbon, water was abundant here, and the garden takes advantage of it by displaying this richness in five fountains situated at the centre of the formal garden, at the centre of each large flowerbed as well as in the large basin. The wall of the basin displays 14 panels of tiles depicting noblemen. Above the wall is placed the gallery of Kings, with the busts of the Portuguese Kings. Through a staircase one can accede to a second garden, known as the Garden of Venus, due to the fountain with a statue of this goddess placed at its centre. At the very end of this “intimate” garden is placed a garden grotto known as “Casa do Fresco” richly decorated with tiles and rocaille. In front of this grotto there is the celebrated basin of the SS, a pond in wavelike form decorated with infants and dolphins. There are interesting water jets inside and outside the grotto. During the eighteenth century some exotic trees have been added to this garden. On an inferior level, facing “Casa do Fresco” one can find yet another fountain richly decorated with rocaille, with three water mouths, known as the “Fonte da Carranquinha”.



From the correspondence exchanged beteen the 1st Marquis of Fronteira and the Kings ambassador in Paris, it can be deduced that the garden was designed at the end of the 1660’s, when the Marquis asked for an experienced French master gardener to be send to Lisbon. In 1669 when Cosimo di Medici visited the Palace the works in the garden were already quite advanced. It must have been near completion by 1670, when it was solemnly inagurated in the presence of the King Regent Pedro II of Braganza. It was built as a recreational site, for the palace was a secondary residence used mostly for hunting and summer vacation.
The garden seems to have suffered only small scale damages during the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. These damages attained mostly the South Wall and part of the Garden of Venus. The four busts of Eighteenth Century kings situated in the Wall of this garden were added during the reconstruction made in the eighteenth century by the 5th Marquis of Fronteira, with whom the palace became the main residence of the family.


Brief description of the Interpretation Centre/Museum

The Garden is part of the architectural complex known as Palácio Fronteira, which includes a 17th century palace and a wood. Visitors can visit the interiors of the palace through guided tours. The palace, which is still inhabited by the descendants of the Mascarenhas family is richly decorated and completely furnished with historical and precious objects from the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Since several members of the familiy have been Vice Roys in India, and in Brazil, there are interesting collections of objects from Eastern and South American cultures.


More gardens of the REJHIS

  • Santa Clotilde Gardens


  • Park of Monserrate


  • Gardens of Aranjuez


  • Lisbon Tropical Botanical Garden


  • Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów


  • Park of Pena