Casa de Mateus

2 April 2012

Casa de Mateus best represents the flamboyance of Baroque architecture in Portugal.  It was not known for two centuries until it was depicted on the label of Sogrape's Mateus Rosé. The construction started in early 18th century and completed in 1743, probably by Niccolo Nasoni, who also built the Cathedral and Clerigos Tower in Porto.  The owner was Jose Botelho Mourao.  Its descendants are living in the house.  Parts of it and the garden are open to the public to admire the exquisite and symmetry of the architecture.  A pool was added in 1930, reflects the main facade and the two harmonious wings.  In it lies a half naked drown woman by Joao Cutilerio.  
Visiting the garden alone cost 6 Euro.  A joint ticket including the house will have 9 Euro out of your pocket.  The tour starts with the Entrance Hall, a symetric wooden hall with antique furniture, clock and paintings on the wall.  The visit also includes the Four Season Room, Library and the Family Chapel.  A nice taste of the old days.

Visit the garden is a pleasure.  3 gardeners were working industriously.  The luxe green is pleasing.  Most people like the dark cedar tunnel.  But I prefer the green, beautiful flowers and friendly dogs. 
They did not bark fiercely but were lay back and welcome your approach.

Nice time went quick.  We needed to say sweet goodbye. One last glimpse of the elegant mansion.

Casa de Mateus is connected to Vila Real by a regular bus.  Refer to the time table as of spring 2012 to plan for your visit and departure.  It costs one Euro one way.  The journey around 10 minutes.  After getting off the bus, expect still walking 100 to 200 metres to be at the entrance.