Commissioned by King D. João V, the Palácio Nacional de Mafra is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture built in the 18th Century, after the king vowed to build a convent if he were blessed with an heir. The convent is part of a massive palace complex covering nearly four hectares, and constructed with limestone and marble in all colours from the region. Financed with Brazilian gold, the grandeur of the palace and its central basilica is simply awesome. The basilica's 65 metre high dome is reportedly the first dome built in Portugal, and when I stood beneath the pink and blue radiating from its glowing white dove, I felt the breath leave my chest.
It seems that Portugal's kings had a tendency to build magnificent things in exchange for what they wanted in life— well two that I know of. But then again, we all try to bargain for our wishes.