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Casa Do Conselho 790X593px

Discover the objects on display in the National Palace of Sintra

Council Chamber

Room used for the meetings of the judges of the House of Supplication and, later, the king’s advisers.

Its plain but monumental architecture would have been covered with luxurious fabrics during meetings, to create a sumptuous and solemn ambience.

The current layout of the room is a contemporary and sensory interpretation that includes the elements that would undoubtedly have been present: the textiles, a table, different chairs according to social status, writing materials and a bell to summon the doorkeeper.

 

Discover the objects on display in this room.

PNS2867 790X593px

Armchair

  • Portugal, 18th century
  • Rosewood, leather and metal
  • Inv. No. PNS2867
PNS5978 PNS5984 790X593px

Inkstand

  • Portugal, 18th century
  • Brass
  • Inv. No. PNS5978 and PNS5984
PNS3114 790X593px

Table

  • Portugal, 17th century
  • Rosewood and gilded metal
  • Inv. No. PNS3114
Cadeiras&Banco 790X593px

Chairs (6) and Stool

  • Portugal, 17th century
  • Wood, leather and brass
  • Inv. No. 
  • Nº Inv. PNS3034, PNS3035, PNS3036, PNS3037, PNS3120, PNS3122 and PNS3387

Justice

From the late Middle Ages and throughout the early modern period (13th-18th centuries), a ‘Palace’ was a place where the king gave protection to his vassals, providing them with shelter, food and justice. This triple function required three distinct spaces: reception rooms; kitchens to make food; and rooms for the judging of crimes or conflicts. Only the proper exercise of justice could guarantee the kingdom’s wellbeing.

This palace was prepared for the highest courts in the kingdom to operate here. The most important of these courts was the ‘Casa da Suplicação’, or House of Supplication, which was itinerant until the 16th century. Its judges tried crimes committed all over the kingdom, as well as any conflicts that arose in the king’s court or within a 25 km radius of it.

Because they frequently accompanied the king, these judges were also influential as advisers. Their importance continued to grow and, between 1562 and 1569, a Council of State was formally created as an autonomous institution that sought to ensure good governance of the kingdom.

It is thought that the two rooms in this unit were initially used as the House of Supplication and later adapted to host meetings of the Council of State.