Thursday, 2 June 2016

Portugal - Cascais: new discoveries

Cascais - a village of kings and fishermen

When I visit Portugal I usually stay at either my sister's or my parent's apartment in Cascais, a coastal town about 30km from Lisbon.

Cascais is a pretty town, popular with tourists, and it also has lots of historical interest - it is known as the "village of kings and fishermen" as many European Royal families lived here in exile during the wars, as well as being the holiday getaway for the Portuguese kings decades ago. You can just imagine that a couple of centuries ago, 30km was another world away...

Even though I have visited my family in Cascais countless times, it seems there are still some interesting spots to discover as I found out during this visit.

Marechal Carmona Park

On a photographic tour with my Dad, he took me to visit Marechal Carmona Park,  a place I never even knew existed in Cascais... (named after Marshal Carmona, a militar and former Portuguese President).

A lovely cool oasis created in the 40's, with a pond, some statues, beautiful tiled work and ducks, chickens, birds and even a few peacocks roaming the grounds,. picnic areas, a Cafe...

I was excited when I found this 2 metre wide "Plastic World" sculpture in the park, as I remembered I had seen it before during our 2014 Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe - created by a Portuguese artist, it was originally exhibited at the "Sculpture ArteMar" at the Estoril beach (Portugal) in 2009 and won first prize!

Some of the fountains and other walls adorned with beautiful traditional blue mosaic tiles.
Chickens, Ducks and Peacocks roamed the park

The Museum

The park leads to the Museum of Conde de Castro Guimaraes.  This former palace was commissioned in 1900 by Jorge O´Neill, a personal friend of King Carlos I of Portugal. It was later bought by Count Manuel de Castro Guimaraes, and donated to the State upon his death in 1927. 
Entry is free and have access to 2 floors of beautiful furniture, paintings and other antiques.

Here you can see the tiled mural to the right over a small pond
Seen from the street, the Palace/Museum  in partly surrounded by a moat that fills up with sea water when the sea rises, as can be seen in the photo below taken from one of the top windows.

Inside the Museum

The original Palace's ceilings, tile work, chandeliers, furniture and paintings are quite


Across the street you can visit the Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum as well.


A pretty corner of Cascais, don't you think?
More about Cascais in the next post...


  1. Beautiful park!
    Hehe, yes, at first I thought, hmmm, that ball I recognise from Sculptures by the Sea-pics? Wonderful it made to your family´s place! What nice connection.
    I love these tiles and fountains, really a beautiful place.
    And the castle, oh, to imagine to live like that.
    Can´t wait for more to come!

    1. Thanks Iris. I love old castles and beautiful antiques...
      Good memory, remembering you had seen that ball before!

  2. Lindíssimo, tudo!
    O parque é muito bonito, mas creio que nunca lá estive. A visitar, sem dúvida. Os azulejos, a ponte, os pavões, tudo convida.
    Adorei as fotos do Museu. Já estive lá ao pé, mas nunca visitei. A ver se da próxima, passamos por lá. Embora, as fotos façam querer ir já...:-))
    Curiosa pelos próximos posts...
    PS: Adorei o pormenor de ter ido fotografar com o seu pai.Tão bom quando os nossos pais não se deixam envelhecer e procuram manter-se activos. Um beijinho para ele também.

    1. Obrigada Sandra. Vale a pena visitar o parque e tomar um cafe por la.
      Tambem ja tinha passado varias vezes perto desta zona e nunca tinha entrado. O meu Pai com 83 anos e bastante activo e o seu hobby de fotografia mantem-no ocupado.

  3. Dearest Sami,
    Oh, just learned that Cascais is straight to the West from Lisbon and indeed it is a lovely town. The ball I find the least attractive and it is just that, a round ball and does not at all depict the world...
    One of Portugal's best are those blue tiles that you find everywhere and I love its architecture. That together with the exotic looking gardens make it a lovely place.

    1. Dear Mariette. From the artist's perspective, this ball covered in various types of plastic material portrays the intrusion of plastic in our lives and the implications it has in our world and marine life.
      The tiles are beautiful and I took photos of various patterns all over Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra.

  4. What an impressive post. Everything from the plastic ball to the castle says this is a place Kings, fishermen, and tourists would LOVE to hang out. I know I would.

    The rooms in the castle were awesome, and the exterior shots were impressive, too. I am SO glad you brought us along on this trip to Cascias, because I am so geography illiterate, this really made my day. Besides, I live vicariously, too.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! Who knows one day you might be able to visit Cascais too. Glad you enjoyed my post!

  5. I enjoyed your post, I once visited Cascais and Estoril, where the kings also had their houses in exile. The coastline is beautiful there.

    1. That's right Marianne, Estoril on the same coast was also an exile town. Thanks.

  6. Magnificas fotografias de Cascais um lugar muito bonito.
    Um abraço e bom fim de semana.

    1. Obrigada Francisco. Um bom fim de semana para si tambem.

  7. Some amazing finds Sami - I'm sure the creators of the Plastic World would be thrilled to know you have admired it on both sides of the planet. I'm impressed that the Museum de Conde has free entry, it looks a fantastic place to visit. Your architecture looks amazing generally, such pretty and impressive buildings, the intricate decorations with the Portuguese tiles add so much to your buildings :)
    Wren x

  8. I have found a couple of free museums, although I didn't get the chance to visit any of the others this time. I also love the tiles, they make the buildings quite different.


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