Fantasy Architecture in Portugal
As part of the 2011 Bridges Math Art Conference at Coimbra in Portugal, we went on a day’s excursion to see the Bussaco Palace hotel. High on a hill on the edge of a forest, and attached to an ancient Carmelite monastry, this fantastical edifice was built as a royal hunting lodge more than a hundred years ago. It is pure nineteenth-century romantic fairytale, a mixture of all sorts of stylistic influences, with a beautiful lake garden in front.It was built at the turn of the 19th – 20th century by an architect called Luigi Manini in what is described as “Manueline-Gothic” style. Pure 19th century fantasy to me, with borrowed elements from Gothic, Baroque and fairy-tale illustrations, with a touch of Colonial thrown in, with as much extravagant detail in stone-carving as could possibly be fitted in. It’s a place to dream about, and I couldn’t resist playing about with some of the photos I took. Some of the images remind me of some of Gustave Dore’s illustrations, so I have added some reproductions.
The Bussaco Palace hotel is evocative of Gustave Dore’s mid 19th century illustrations to “Orlando Furioso” – almost intentionally, one might think, when you see the huge Azuejos panels with paintings in a similar vein lining the verandah walls.
One last picture on this post showing some of the carved stone details on the verandah arches.