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Discover the objects on display in the National Palace of Sintra


In the 15th century, this room was divided into three small, more private compartments that could be used as an annex to the Wardrobe.

It is thought that the partition walls were demolished in the 18th century when its name was changed to the Camarim.

The Camarim, like the Wardrobe, was used to store objects of great splendour.


Discover the objects on display in this room.

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Tapestry “Caesar and Spurina”

  • Brussels, 1560-1570
  • Wool and silk
  • Inv. No. PNS3573

The seer Spurina warns the Roman emperor Julius Caesar to beware of the Ides of March, the date on which he would be assassinated. It belongs to a series entitled the "History of the Life and Deeds of Julius Caesar" and was brought to the Palace in 1939. 

Tapestries were the most sumptuous and expensive objects in a noble house. Episodes of classical history or mythology provided opportunities to learn from the past.

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Celestial Globe

  • Christoph Schissler
  • Augsburg, Germany, 1575
  • Gilded metal and iron
  • Inv. No. PNS3457

This globe represents the celestial sphere, with constellations and signs of the zodiac. Its now-lost counterpart represented the terrestrial sphere. It was made by Christopher Schissler in 1575 and reflects everything that was known about the universe at the time. Its sheer size, the detail of the engravings and the up-to-date astronomical knowledge all indicate that this globe was intended for someone of high social status.

It is the only known sixteenth-century globe of this type and the oldest globe in Portugal.

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  • Spain (?), 17th century
  • Wood, ivory, iron, tortoiseshell and velvet
  • Inv. No. PNS3073

Here, the references to classical antiquity coexist with the expression of an in-depth knowledge of the Bible. On this ivory and tortoiseshell inlay writing desk, you can see the Annunciation, the Tower of Babel, the meeting of St. Elisabeth and St. Joachim, and a scene with an archangel.

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  • India, 18th-19th century
  • Linen, silk and cotton
  • Inv. No. PNS5757

Splendid objects required first-class materials and craft skills of the highest order. The silk of Indian embroidered bedspreads offered the perfect medium for creating rich compositions of animals and flowers, which would certainly have caught the eye of the beholder.

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Still Life

  • Pietro Pablo Bronzi
  • Italy, 1660
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3595
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Boats in Shipyard

  • Italy (?), 1st half 18th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3598
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Still Life

  • Tibaldi, Antonio (attrib.)
  • Italy, 2nd half 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3600
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Still Life

  • Tibaldi, Antonio
  • Italy, 2nd half 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3601
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Holy Family

  • Bento Coelho da Silveira
  • Portugal, late 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3603
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Jephthah returning victorious from battle is greeted by his daughter

  • Dutch School (?), Flemish School (?), 17-18th century

  • Oil on copper
  • Inv. No. PNS3602

Representation of an episode in the story of Jephthah, namely the moment when the Gileadite leader is greeted by his only daughter after the military victory over the Ammonites. Jephthah, before the battle, had made a vow to Jehovah: if he returned victorious from battle, the first person to leave his house in Mizpah Gilead to meet him would be offered as a sacrifice to the Lord. The story of Jephthah's vow is found in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) at Judges 11:29-40.

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Death of Lucretia

  • Italy, 1st half 16th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS3604

The history of antiquity was one of the main subjects in the education of Renaissance nobles and offered a way to learn about the virtue of good government. In 510 BC, after being raped by Tarquinio, son of the king of the Romans, Lucretia commits suicide. The episode precipitated a revolt that led to the fall of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic of Rome.

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Holy Family with St John the Baptist as a Child

  • Portugal, 2nd half 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3608
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Death of Prince Afonso

  • Portugal, 2nd half 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3609

This painting depicts the death of Prince Afonso in 1491. He was the only son of King João II (1455-1495) and heir apparent to the throne. This tragic event forced the king to select a new heir. He chose his cousin, who would become King Manuel I (1469-1521).

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The Nativity

  • Antwerp, late-16th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS3610
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Saint Francis of Assisi

  • Spain, mid-17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3629
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Christ descending from the Cross

  • Master from Arruda dos Vinhos (attrib.)
  • Portugal, mid-16th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS3633
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Saint Sebastian’s Trial

  • Portugal, last third 16th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3634
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Saint Sebastian releasing Christian captives

  • Portugal, last third 16th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3635
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  • José de Ribera, Workshop
  • Spain, c.1630
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3636

There are several versions of this painting, which reflects the interest in representing those thinkers of classical antiquity (Greece and Rome) whose works inspired and spurred European philosophy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Rest on the flight into Egypt

  • Baltazar Gomes Figueira (attrib.)
  • Portugal, 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3637
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Still Life

  • Flanders (?), 17th century
  • Oil on copper
  • Inv. No. PNS3638
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Still Life

  • Flanders (?), 17th century
  • Oil on copper
  • Inv. No. PNS3640
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St James the Greater and St Claire

  • Portugal, 1st half 17th century
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. No. PNS3639
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The Virgin, the Child, St Elisabeth and St John the Baptist as a Child

  • North of Europe (?)
  • 2nd half 16th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS3642
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  • Flemish school, mid-16th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS3643

This sixteenth century Flemish painting depicts the Calvary and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Christ is at the centre of the composition, flanked by the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. It came from Ajuda Palace to this palace’s collection in 1940.

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Virgin and Child

  • Cesare da Sesto (attrib.)
  • Italy, late 15th century
  • Oil on wood
  • Inv. No. PNS6176
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St John the Baptist

  • Francia, Francesco (attrib.)
  • Italy, 1st quarter 16th century
  • Tempera (?) on cloth and wood
  • Inv. No. PNS6177

St. John the Baptist is shown wearing a garment of camel’s hair with a lamb by his side. The lamb signifies the moment when he baptised and recognised Jesus as the son of God, declaring: “Here is the Lamb of God.” This painting is a copy made in the workshop of the Italian master Francesco Francia in the early 16th century. It has been part of the Palace collection since 2010.

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  • Portugal, 18th century
  • Brazilian mahogany, rosewood and metal
  • Inv. No. PNS2938
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Buffet table

  • Portugal, 18th century
  • Rosewood and copper
  • Inv. No. PNS2948
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  • India, 17th century
  • Teak wood, lacquer and iron
  • Inv. No. PNS2963
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  • India (?), 17th century
  • Wood (sucupira?), iron and metal
  • Inv. No. PNS2965
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  • India, 16th-17th century
  • Ebony and ivory
  • Inv. No. PNS3069

This small cabinet is an early example of furniture made in Asia for the European market. It was produced in the late 16th or early 17th century between the region of Gujarat, in northwest India, and Sindh, in Pakistan. The decoration shows human figures dressed in distinctive clothing relating to European and South Asian practices. By feat of illusion, its six drawers look like nine. The top opens via a secret mechanism at the back.

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  • India (?), 19th century
  • Wood (teak and ebony), ivory and metal
  • Inv. No. PNS3069B
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  • Spain, 16th-17th century
  • Walnut, velvet, iron
  • Inv. No. PNS3076 

Writing desks were the main pieces of furniture in the noble houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They held all kinds of precious items, such as jewellery or money, but also contracts, deeds and other important papers. The power of the noble house was also based on the rights and properties to which these papers attested. This desk is a fine example of the sophisticated inlay technique typical of Granada.

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  • Portugal, 19th century
  • Rosewood, ivory and gilded metal
  • Inv. No. PNS3055
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  • Italy/Spain (?), 1574
  • Walnut, oak, boar bone and iron
  • Inv. No. PNS6178
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  • China
  • Qing Dynasty - Kangxi reign (1662-1722)
  • Porcelain
  • Inv. No. PNS01

Chinese porcelain began to arrive in Portugal in large quantities from the early sixteenth century onwards. It became popular because it offered a more convenient alternative to the silver services then in use. In the seventeenth century, some of the pieces became display items, as is the case with this example.

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  • Spain, Talavera (?), 16-17th century
  • Earthenware
  • Inv. No. PNS26
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Holy Mothers and Virgin and Child

  • Holy Mothers (left) and Virgin and Child (right)
  • Germany, 15th-16th century
  • Oak
  • Inv. No. PNS3511 and PNS3512
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Bust of a young man

  • Florence, 16th century
  • Polychromatic wood
  • Inv. No. PNS6185
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  • Portugal (?), 18th-19th century
  • Silk, linen, burlap, gold thread and wood
  • Inv. No. PNS5770
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  • Psalter - Portugal, 18th century; leather, wood, metal and linen; Inv. No. PNS3651
  • Antiphonary - Portugal (?), 18th century; leather, wood, metal and linen; Inv. No. PNS3652
  • Missal - Portugal (?), 18th century; leather, wood, metal and linen; Inv. No. PNS3654

A mastery of Latin, the classical authors and the main canonical works formed part of every noble’s education until the eighteenth century. A noble’s power also depended on their virtue and eloquence.


The layout of the rooms in the Palace of Sintra reflected a social hierarchy headed by the king and queen. This section corresponds to the royal palace built in the reign of King João I (1357–1433) and Queen Philippa of Lancaster (1360–1415).

It begins in the Great Hall, which everyone who entered the palace could access. Access to the following rooms became more selective the further one progressed, culminating in the King’s or Queen’s Chamber. These could only be entered by certain members of the high nobility, clergy or important ambassadors.

None of these rooms had a specific function. Their use was defined by the social position of those who were allowed to enter, thus revealing how power was wielded on a day-to-day basis. The layout of the furniture changed to suit the desired enactment of power or to match the social status of the people present.