The D. Manuel Palace is what remains of the great palatial complex of S. Francisco, for it was from the S. Francisco Convent that the new and imposing Royal Palace of Évora developed to house the court, and where the marriage of Infante Afonso, son of King João II with the Infanta Isabel of Castile, took place in 1490. It was left to the king Manuel I, O Venturoso, who ascended to the throne in 1495, to impress upon the monumental complex, the grandeur and architectural beauty that it boasted.
Only the 16th century gallery, – O Paço das Damas –, dating from the first two decades of the 16th century and integrated into the Manueline-Mudejar cycle, was saved from destruction and even used as a war warehouse in the struggles of independence (1640).
The D. Manuel Palace was ceded to the Tawn Hall in 1865 and used as an archaeological museum, theater and exhibition space, until the collapse on February 18, 1881, that destroyed its roofs.
After the disaster, it was reformed to became a public playhouse – the Eborense Theater –, after the works conducted by the engineer Adriano de Sousa Monteiro from Évora, which changed the original trait by adding a 2nd floor with metal framing according to the taste of the time.
In March 1916, it was destroyed by fire, and thus remained until 1943, when it was recuperated by the Nacional Monuments, which restored the property, saving the essential of the old pavilion.
Today, it fulfils the function of "living room" of the city, where official receptions are held as well as cultural ceremonies, exhibitions and other initiatives consistent with its dignity.
Address: Jardim Público (Public Garden), Évora, Portugal