Where the vines ate the old ruins
It would be easy to simply say that the Palácio de Monserrate is beautiful, but that would not be enough. Lord Byron visited the site in 1809, before it was restored, and became so enamored with it that he mentioned it in his poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
The palace was built on, according to legend, consecrated ground, standing as it is on the ruins of an old Catholic chapel, and sits surrounded by two hectares of land with sights that range from sprawling hills to vine covered trees gobbling up the remains of ancient buildings, all of it covered in a generous layer of lichen, long forgotten.
This was probably my favorite structure on what we got to see from the grounds. It lies in ruin, covered by vines and moss, and we lucked out and were able to see it when it was completely empty. It looks like it’s just begging to be the setting of a mystical story.
The palace itself was commissioned in the nineteenth century by Sir Francis Cook, a wealthy English merchant who was graced with the title of Viscount of Monserrate by King Dom Luís, to serve as his family’s summer residence.
The interior is not preserved as it was back then the home was in use, and is mostly devoid of furniture, but it’s not like it matters, really…