The Cadaval Palace has been the home and the property of the Dukes of Cadaval family since its foundation in the 14th century until today. Built on the ruins of a Moorish castle, and subject to many changes over the centuries, the final result is a unique combination of Mudéjar, Gothic and Manueline styles.
Stood in the historic centre of Évora, across from the Roman Temple, it features a vast residential area, developing over several floors, two inner gardens and a church, which is the final resting place for every generation of the Dukes of Cadaval family. The church is also of national interest, given its stunning interior, highlighted by azulejo tile panels, signed by their artist, António de Oliveira, and dating from the early 18th century.
Palace records show that it was nobleman Martim Afonso de Melo, who served the Grand Master of the Order of Aviz and was descended from the Portuguese royal family, who commissioned the palace, then called the Palace of the Tower of the Five Shields. The palace served as a temporary home to the monarchs King Dom João II, King Dom João IV and King Dom João V. The palace was also used to imprison the Duke Dom Fernando II of Braganza, accused of conspiring against King John II and subsequently beheaded in the Praça do Giraldo, in Évora, in 1483.
The Cadaval Palace is currently the residence of the Duchess of Cadaval and her family,
although the church and some of the rooms are open to the public throughout the year, exhibiting rare items: books,
charters, arms, paintings, sculptures, furniture, porcelain, portraits and travel accessories,
among other objects of value and major historical interest.
For the last 21 years, the Cadaval Palace has also hosted a series of cultural events: the Classic Évora Festival, with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; The Orientals Festival, dedicated to traditional music from the East and the Évora Sacred Music Festival, dedicated to traditional music heritage of music around the world. The Cadaval Palace often welcomes national and international choirs, for performances open to the public, as well as soloists and music groups, and international art exhibitions featuring painting, sculpture and photography.