ULisboa’s Rectory, Arts and Law Buildings classified as National Monument


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The government approved the classification of the University of Lisbon, which includes the rectory and the faculties of Law and Letters, including its movable heritage, as a National Monument.

According to the statement from the council of ministers, “a decree has been approved that classifies as a group of national interest, with the designation of ‘national monument’, the group consisting of the buildings of the Rectory, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, including the integrated mobile heritage.

This classification proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Education late last year by the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage (DGPC), which also intended to establish the University of Lisbon and the Torre do Tombo as a special protection area.

An announcement signed by the Director-General of Cultural Heritage, João Carlos dos Santos, published on October 27th of last year in the Diário da República, gave notice of this draft decision, following a proposal by the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage Section of the National Council for Culture, presented in September.

The set now classified was designed by architect Porfírio Pardal Monteiro for the University City and completed by his nephew António Pardal Monteiro.

It is a built structure that stands at the top of Alameda da Universidade and fits “a ‘monumentalizing’ taste conveyed by the Estado Novo, incorporating classically inspired elements such as colonnaded porticos,” according to the description on the University of Lisbon’s website.

Over time, changes were made to adapt the interior space to the needs of the services and works of art were integrated “in accordance with the desired spirit of glorification” to “underline the design of grandiloquence and ‘house of knowledge'” of the university headquarters, as stated on the institution’s website.

These works consist of incised engravings, geometric tiles on the facade, mosaic panels, stained glass windows, a ceramic panel, lacquer painting on the door of the Aula Magna, decorative motifs on the staircase, mural painting, and tapestry.

In addition, a program of interior architecture, including furniture, was developed in the noble rooms, specifically the rector’s office and lounge, the noble hall, the aula magna, the senate room, and the oval office.

The university website also highlights the chapel room and its altar.

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