The Beginning of Quinta do Torneiro
300 YEARS OF HISTORY
According to the Oeiras Municipality Archives, Quinta do Torneiro dates back to 1581 belonging to Pero Fernandes Torneiro and his wife who lived in Lisbon. The fertile lands, the mildness of the weather, the proximity to Lisbon and at the same time to the sea justified the establishment of several properties (Quinta in Portuguese) in the area of Oeiras like Quinta do Torneiro, an important element of the municipal heritage.
We know the building as it exists today dates back to the 18th century but it could have used pre-existing structures from the 16th century. The characteristics of the building are typical of this time with the chapel deserving a special emphasis. As inscribed on the portal, the year 1718 shows the importance given to the chapel as a symbol of the harmony between daily life and religious experience. The chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of the Holy Angels and the several blue and white tiled panels have scenes related to Nativity and Annunciation. We must not forget that the tiles portraying religious scenes have an educational role at this time when most of the population is illiterate and masses are in Latin.
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The gardens of manor houses were also of great importance as ample spaces for games, walks, theatrical representations as well as music and dance recitals. The outdoor areas were spaces for conviviality and social life, giving prestige to the family it belonged to.
The tiles at Quinta do Torneiro have been studied by reputed researchers in the field and are maintained in very good condition. Tiles are not only to decorate but are a way of recreating the world and to transmit values. The scenes that are portrayed have an historical and ethnographic value, showing ways of life, cultural habits, values and even landscapes of that time.
At Quinta do Torneiro there are several tile panels that deserve our attention: 1) Chapel tiles dating back to 1718; 2) Blue and white tiles in 3 of the rooms with burlesque and Carnival scenes, dance, maritime and hunting scenes.
In all these panels we must point out the framework which is made out of round lobes painted in a strong blue of Dutch inspiration.
The panels in the dining room are considered to be one of the most notable works of neoclassic tilework in Portugal, from the end of the 18th century, revealing an exceptional quality. Looking at all these magnificent tiles, one may actually conclude that tilery is one of the greatest expressions of Portuguese art of the 18th century.
The 18th century also reflects the golden era of the noble house in Portugal, mostly related to the flow of wealth from Brazil, namely gold, diamonds and sugar as well as the economic development that characterized this period. We find examples of these houses on the outskirts of Lisbon and in particular in the Municipality of Oeiras where Quinta do Torneiro is a perfect example of the lifestyle of this period and with a great patrimonial value.
Nowadays, you may organize your wedding or event at this historical venue and enjoy all the cultural richness it has to offer. Contact us to find out how you can make your dream come true!