Photograph: Museu da Cidade, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa,  © Museu da Cidade, Câmara Municipal de LisboaPhotograph: Museu da Cidade, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa,  © Museu da Cidade, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Name of Monument:

Pimenta Palace

Also known as:

House of Quinta da Pimenta; House of Madre Paula; Galvão Mexia Palace; Museu da Cidade (Museum of Lisbon)


Campo Grande, Lisbon, Portugal

Contact DetailsPimenta Palace
Museu da Cidade
Campo Grande, 245
1700-091 Lisbon
T : +351 21 751 3200
F : +351 21 757 1858
E :
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Museu da Cidade (Responsible Institution)


18th century


Unknown architects

Denomination / Type of monument:

Secular/civil architecture, palace


Attributed to King João V


The history of the Pimenta Palace is not well known but it is nonetheless an interesting example of 18th-century suburban civil architecture. Legend attributes its construction to King João V who, supposedly, commissioned the palace to accommodate Mother Paula, a nun from the Odivelas Monastery, who was also his mistress. The palace would be the venue for the King's love affairs. It was also the residence of the Galvão-Mexia family. In 1956 it was purchased by the Lisbon municipality. Between 1979 and 1984 the Museum of Lisbon was set up and opened there.


A rectangular main building with a running façade, two floors and an attic.
The building has windows at ground level with discreet Baroque framing. A great gateway at the centre of the edifice is for ceremonial entrances and is wide enough for a carriage. The gateway is crowned with a semicircular pediment with an erudite plan influenced by Mafra Baroque. On the east side, as part of the Museum of Lisbon's exhibition, there is an “ensemble d'époque” or installation which recreates the atmosphere of an 18th-century suburban palace.
The museum runs throughout the whole building. It includes a rich archaeological collection, sculpture, faience, prints, paintings and drawings. The collection testifies to the history of Lisbon with an important collection of drawings of the Águas Livres Aqueduct and documents relating to the reconstruction of the city after the earthquake of 1755.

View Short Description

A suburban palace of the Baroque period dating to the 18th century, it has a rectangular courtyard at the back and a re-created farm. It was once associated with Campo Grande – an agricultural farm – on what was once rural land in the outskirts of the city.

How Monument was dated:

Historical evidence and stylistic analysis

Special features

Ensemble d’époque: Kitchen

Ground floor, Pimenta Palace


Unknown artist

Re-creation of an 18th-century kitchen set up in what was the original palace kitchen. Lined with azulejos (tile panels) of random figures alluding to culinary themes (for example, a bad cook and hanging game), it is equipped with a wide-mouthed chimney, stone tables and contemporary kitchen utensils.


Interior of the palace, Pimenta Palace


Unknown artist

A staircase of great scale and ostentation it is fixed in the nucleus of the palace.

Ensemble d’époque: Bedroom

Ground floor, Pimenta Palace


Unknown artist

Installed in the east wing facing the Buxo Garden is a re-creation of an 18th-century bedroom. It is worth mentioning in particular the azulejos that line the walls depicting rural themes, romantic scenes and chinoiseries most of which date to 1746.

Ensemble d’époque: Dining-Room

Ground floor, Pimenta Palace


Unknown artist

Like the bedroom, the re-creation of an 18th-century dining-room is located in the east wing of the palace. Again worthy of mention are the azulejos that line the walls depicting rural themes, romantic scenes and chinoiseries most of which date to 1746.

Model of Lisbon before the earthquake of 1755

Ground floor, Pimenta Palace


Gustavo Matos Cerqueira, Vieira da Silva and others

A large-scale model of Lisbon’s city centre before the earthquake of 1755.

Selected bibliography:

Moita, I., (director), O Livro de Lisboa, Lisbon, 1994.
Serrão, V., “O Barroco”, História da Arte em Portugal, Lisbon, 2003.

Citation of this web page:

Paulo Pereira "Pimenta Palace" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2016.;BAR;pt;Mon11;26;en

Prepared by: Paulo PereiraPaulo Pereira

SURNAME: Pereira
NAME: Paulo

AFFILIATION Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon

TITLE: University Lecturer

Paulo Pereira holds an MA in Cultural Studies and has been a speaker at numerous seminars and congresses in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, the United States and Brazil. Paulo has co-ordinated and published books about Portuguese art and history, some of which are award winning. He is curator of several exhibitions held in Portugal, Ghent, Brussels and Berlin and been a contributing author for several exhibition catalogues. He has exercised managerial roles within the Town Hall of Lisbon, was Vice President of the Portuguese Heritage Institute (IGESPAR) and is a lecturer at the Technical University of Lisbon (Faculty of Architecture).

Translation by: Lili Cavalheiro, Cristina CorreiaCristina Correia

SURNAME: Correia
NAME: Cristina

AFFILIATION: Eça de Queirós Public High School, Lisbon and MWNF

TITLE: Senior Teacher, Local Co-ordinator and Vice-President of MWNF

Cristina Correia is a History graduate and, since 1985, a Senior Teacher of History at the Eça de Queirós Public High School, Lisbon where she also lectures in Portuguese Language and Culture for non-native speakers. From 1987 to 1998 she was involved with youth affairs, primary prevention and the Camões Institute. She is Vice-President and Local Co-ordinator (Portugal) for MWNF.

Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: PT 26


 Timeline for this item

On display in

Discover Baroque Art Exhibition(s)

Absolutism | Court life and diplomacy


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