Historic Gardens

Where history and nature meet

The Historic Gardens of Quinta da Porta climb in terraces up the foothills of Serra da Gardunha and are marked by bucolic nooks and crannies and sculptural elements in granite such as steps, water fountains, walls, benches, a belvedere and a chapel of Templar origin. Its secular boxwood gardens are adorned by camellia trees and surrounded by water gutters that bring freshness and peace.

The countless secular trees create a game of light and shade that invites relaxation and the multiplicity of flowers that fill the gardens offer a constant mutation of colours and smells that, combined with the sound of water and the pleasant chirping of the various species of birds that live there, make a visit to the Historic Gardens of Quinta da Porta an unforgettable journey through History and Nature in all its charm.

Many of the people who have visited us in recent years have asked us what kind of Quinta is this, that is so special and different?

We have recovered an article by Professor Aurora Carapinha, from the University of Évora, which was originally published in Diário de Notícias on 21st April 2008. The article is already very old, but it remains very useful to help us interpret Quinta da Porta and thus help to better understand this very Portuguese heritage as are the Quintas de Recreio.

"In the universe of landscape heritage existing in Portugal, the Quinta de Recreio stands out by the number with which it appears in that universe but, above all, by the role it represents in our culture. Born in the Renaissance cultural context, it quickly absorbed characteristics of our way of relating emotionally and affectively with the landscape. This is why we consider it a space where the idea of the garden in Portuguese culture is better materialized and felt (...)

The Quinta de Recreio is an organized whole: woods, buildings, recreational garden, orchard/garden. It is a versatile place, where recreation and production share the same space, invading each other, establishing formal and functional relationships. They are bucolic spaces, where, in areas confined to production, architectural and sculptural elements punctuate the landscape, defining pleasant places to stay, where shade, light, water, aromas and sounds combine to create a peculiar ambience. The recreational areas are viewpoints over the production areas and colonise functional infrastructures.
Gutters and tanks, covered in brightly coloured tiles, are connecting elements and agglutinating, decorative and refreshing poles between recreation and production. Pergolas, arbours and pleasure houses, polarised and reflected in bowls of water, are the shade of a source of freshness where, secluded from the view in the most delicious isolation, one can enjoy a distant landscape. Vegetation, water, light and the morphology of the relief are the strong components in the design of Quinta de Recreio as they are in all gardens.

But in Portugal, the way in which these elements are arranged and designed gives rise to a space where leisure and business are reconciled, creating a space with unique characteristics. These spaces reveal themselves as the possibility of resolving a pressing contemporary issue, since they reconcile what, nowadays, is considered irreconcilable; the recreational space and the production space."