Palácio Nacional de Mafra, History
During the period of the Liberal Wars, the Palace of Mafra became a place of refuge and peace for the royal families of Queen Maria II and King Manuel II. And it was in its southern turret that the last king of Portugal spent his last night on home soil, between 4 and 5 October 1910, before departing in exile, at the time of the Establishment of the Republic.
Even during 1910, during the emergence of the new regime, the Palace-Convent was classified as a National Monument, as a symbolic recognition of its historical importance. It is a homage and distinction that values all of its most significant convent spaces: the Campo Santo or cemetery and the Infirmary, to the Sala Elíptica (Elliptical Hall) and the Capital, the Literary Acts (Examinations) Hall, the Stairway and the Dining Hall, the latter of which today belong to the School of Arms.
Subsequent additions came to enrich the monument with works of art and the creation of other facilities, as in the case of the notable convent library. The National Palace of Mafra possesses one of the most important Portuguese libraries, with a valuable collection of approximately 36 thousand volumes. A veritable repository of knowledge and masterpieces.
In addition to this, the two carillons, with a total of 98 bells, make up the largest bellringer assembly of the 18th century, which in addition to the six magisterial organs installed in the Basilica, have set the stage for sublime and inspiring concerts.