I was flicking through Dr Frederic Marjay’s photographic book on the Algarve when I came across this one of the lower fountain and pool at Palácio de Estoi, and I thought perfect for this month’s Past Meets Present.
The fountains date from the 19th century and are part of an extensive water network in the grounds which irrigated the orchards and gardens as well as provided water for the main house. If you would like to know more on the palace, the gardens and the original owners then do explore here.
The house and gardens fell into decay for most of the 20th century and into the beginning of the 21st century. Fortunately though in 2009 a massive restoration project was initiated, and resulting in a return to the palace’s heydays. The photographs above were taken at the turn at the 19th century, and the ones below earlier this year. Hardly anything seems to have changed apart from the spelling of Estoi, less trees near the formal gardens and fewer hats!
You don’t need to stay in the Palácio de Estoi in order to see the gardens. We have been here a few times now as day visitors as it is a rather lovely place to visit for a morning or afternoon especially if you love azulejos!
There are fountains in the village of Estoi too as well as some good places to eat lunch. You can eat at the hotel and the views from the terraces are lovely. However it is a tad pricey and the service can be incredibly slow, whereas in the village the service is generally prompt and even better you get to sample traditional dishes. If you have time to spend the whole day here there is a lovely public water fountain on the outskirts of the village just round the corner from the fascinating Roman ruins of Milreu.
PS #PastmeetsPresent is a blogging challenge so do join in if you wish. All you need is a blog and two photos of the same place but a few weeks, months or even years apart.