The exterior of Casa de Santa Maria
Commissioned by Jorge O’Neill (a Portuguese nobleman of Irish descent) for his daughter, this house was built in 1902 across the street from the family’s mansion (which is now the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum). It followed a design by Raul Lino, the leading architect of the time, who wanted to create the most perfect example of a typical Portuguese house. The result is a romantic construction, with a garden and terrace facing the sea, a conical chimney inspired by those of the Sintra National Palace, and an interior covered with baroque blue-and-white tile panels salvaged from an old chapel and a convent in Lisbon.
Baroque tiles cover much of the interior
The house was a private residence for over a century, and welcomed many of the monarchs and illustrious personalities who spent time in Cascais after WWII. Those included the Dukes of Windsor, the Counts of Paris, Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Italy’s King Umberto II, and U.S. President Richard Nixon.
All of the original architecture has been preserved
It had three owners over the decades, until it was acquired by the municipality of Cascais in 2004. It has since been turned into a museum and was classified as a protected monument in 2012.
Rua do Farol de Santa Marta
Admission and Tickets to Casa de Santa Maria
Tickets are €5 and include admission to the Santa Marta Lighthouse next door.
It's closed on Mondays
Farol Museu da Santa Marta - It’s included in the ticket, so don’t miss the attraction next door -- a lighthouse that’s been restored as a museum showing how lighthouses work, the history of lighthouses down the Portuguese coast, and offering a view over Cascais from the top.
Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum - The family mansion of Casa de Santa Maria’s first owners is just steps away, on a tiny beach. It’s Cascais’ most beautiful monument, inside and out.
Parque Marechal Carmona - Behind the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum is a shady park with a duck pond and a lawn used for picnics.