Gaspar Gonçalves was awarded the estate by King Dom Manuel I and was referred to as the Herdade das Laranjeiras (Orange Tree Estate). We can still find many orange trees growing on the grounds. Following the construction of the manorhouse, Gonçalves was appointed Lord of Ribafria by Dom João III. A thirty metre-tall 17th-century tower sits alongside the main building. It is adorned with cornices and topped with merlon battlements. The coat of arms of Gaspar Gonçalves is carved in the stonework. The façade of the main building contains Mudéjar-styled battlements inspired by Moorish architecture found in Cordoba in Spain. The building sustained some damage during the 1755 earthquake. The estate was sold to the Cartaxo family who undertook restoration work in the 1960s.
Inside you can find beautiful painted wooden coffered ceilings displaying hunting scenes along with floral and nautical motifs. The house contains two chapels and one located within the forested gardens. The garden chapel contains a fine example of azulejo tiles lining the inner walls. Between 1987 and 2002, Quinta da Ribafria housed the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. During this time, improvements were made to the gardens supervised by two well-known Portuguese architects, Francisco Caldeira Cabral and Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles.
The Council of Sintra took control of the estate in 2003 and uses the grounds to host cultural events and display urban art. The gardens are free to visit, but the house is closed to the public due to its poor state of preservation.
• 1246 - Fontanelas - Portela de Sintra (Estação Norte) via Casal da Granja
Quinta da Ribafria Gardens, Estrada da Várzea, Sintra, 2710-403 Sintra, Portugal.
08° 48' 55.9" N | 09° 22' 40.9" W