Jardim do Paço Episcopal
Gardens, Parks and Forests
Built on the orders of Bishop 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 steps and that 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.
There is no shortage of lakes beside the avenues, 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 and the three theological virtues.
Construction of the Episcopal Palace in the garden began in the late 16th century and was built as the winter residence of the Bishops of Guarda. Today, it houses the Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum, another of the city's main attractions.
October - 1 April: 9am - 5pm;
April - October - 9am - 7pm.