Park and Gardens
In Portugal, the garden has always been restricted to an area adjacent to the house, “closely linked with architecture and domestic life. High walls, merry-go-rounds, benches, frescoes, (…) define themselves as an element of a space, especially of being “, 16 being the frontier well delimited, between this one, the fence, and the lands destined to agriculture, thus, a true hierarchy of spaces.
However, from the 16th century onwards, in the 18th century, a new approach emerged in Europe regarding the framing of the garden in the rural landscape. Although this “landscape trend of Europe beyond the Pyrenees, where the surrounding nature is invited to participate in the overall layout of the garden” is not verified in Portugal17 , we can notice some influence of this tendency in the concept of the Portuguese garden, but much more architectonic that landscape, integrating in the space according to the geographical conditions of the terrain, sometimes opening alleys through the meadows flanked by hedges of shrubs and trees, constructing pleasant places of rest along these paths18, but, unlike these foreign trends, “facing itself, in an environment of exquisite intimacy, more to be enjoyed in its interior than to be admired from the outside“19.
As an example of this new eighteenth century conceptual approach, we have the example of the valorization of the Park of the Palace of the Counts of Anadia, that extended towards the south of the palace, being the lands of sowing (vineyard and olive grove) directed to nascent and towards west, one “splendid forest with its rare arboreal species“20.The vast Park with its terraced gardens with flower beds, embellished by tanks and fountains, connected to the palace by long paths, “shaded here and there by chestnuts, plane trees, holm oaks and pines“21, crossed between boxwood hedge, with low walls that offer themselves as benches, provide the “experience of the gardens, especially as a space for walking and recreational path” 22.
This concept also tended to “value large sculptural elements that accentuate the dynamic value of space by its volumetric character“, 23 as in this park with a fountain painted in pink and yellow ocher (accompanied by a tank and benches), the monumental Pombal building (composed of a tower and two tanks), as well as the magnificent ensemble annexed to the topiary garden with hedge, composed of tank and stone fountain topped with curved pediment and pyramidal obelisk, in articulation with a double staircase and landing, which provides “lovely views of vineyards, apple orchards, fields, woods and pastures” 24.
There should also be a special mention to the several corners of this magnificent Park and Forest, which in an indelible way, attest to the intense experience of family life throughout the generations: “its large lake and indispensable boat for calm walks, the game field of the péla, the water jets from the spouts, the stone memorial (surmounted by an obelisk that celebrates the return of D. John VI to Portugal), to a small cemetery destined for the last rest of the household pets, besides all this still possessed as a the hermitage, which they called <<the monastery of the friars>>, where three wooden dolls, articulated and dressed as Franciscans” 25, entertained children and adults who walked around.