Room of the Coats of Arms
The Room of the Coat of Arms represents the peak expression of the ideal of monarchy under King Manuel I. In placing his coat of arms in the centre of the cupola of this room, Manuel projected himself as the centre and top of a highly hierarchical but interdependent society. His power depended on the support of the nobility and they obtained from the king the social distinction that they required for their positions.
The nobility is here depicted by the coats of arms of the 72 leading households. The coats of arms convey the identities of the individuals associated and provides a clear form of social distinction.
The inscription running around the room recalls memories of the services provided by their ancestors – “the loyal services” – defining the identity and social position of each family. As regards the king, he emerges as the supreme judge and responsible for guaranteeing this order.
The walls of this room were finished in tiles depicting scenes of gallantry in the 18th century.