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Jardim do Paço Episcopal

Jardim do Paço Episcopal
Built at the orders of Bishop Dom João de Mendonça at the beginning of the 18th century, the Garden of the Episcopal Palace is one of the most original examples of the baroque in Portugal and the distinguishing landmark of the city of Castelo Branco.

Laid out in the Italian style, the garden has various levels connected by steps, with avenues and thematic walks, marked out by flower beds ringed with ornamental box hedging. One of its most striking features is undoubtedly the large number of granite statues, especially those that line the staircases and represent the kings of Portugal, arranged in chronological order. Perhaps the most curious aspect is that the statues of the kings who governed Portugal under Spanish rule from 1580 to 1640 are smaller than those of the other kings.

Along the avenues, there is no shortage of lakes with water features and fountains, interspersed with many other statues alluding to such diverse themes as the signs of the Zodiac, the seasons of the year, the four continents, the four moral virtues or the three theological virtues.

Next to the garden stands the Episcopal Palace, whose construction began in the late 16th century and which was built to serve as the winter residence for the bishops of Guarda. Today, it houses the Museu Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior, another of this city?s main attractions.
Rua Bartolomeu da Costa, 6000-642 Castelo Branco - Tel: +351 272 344 277

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