Dream Houses :: A house with history
For some moments we forget that we are near an urban centre and that the close marginal Lisbon-Cascais road is filling up with traffic. It is an intermittent silence, interrupted by the birds singing, above everything else. Tranquillity is the queen and we can breath peace. It would be easy to guess that in such atmosphere, characteristic of the countryside, that this must be one of the best housing areas in Cascais’ municipality, in Parede.
Besides the grandiosity of the façade pointed by the stone that characterises and marks its century-old personality, the palace rests, quiet, above the high wall, framed by two possessing trees, ancient partners in a story of equal age.
We present you a house that takes us back to the time when Parede was a prestigious and glamorous holiday resort for many Portuguese families, from the high bourgeoisie and not only.
When the heavy iron Gate opens for our passage, it gives us the immediate feeling of being travelling in time. The palace, with its rigorously preserved original architectonic features and the two majestic trees that live in its garden – two century-old Ficus , just like the house, whose canopies touch and enlace, creating a generous shade over the garden. Calm reins, everything takes us back to a time that ran slower and when everything was experienced and enjoyed at its fullest. A magpie comes and welcomes us, as if celebrating our arrival. The owner explains us that this bird adopted the garden as its own home and that it used to come and eat from their hands when the house was still inhabited by the family. Unavoidable signs of the peace experienced here.
Acquired over twenty years ago by the current owner and subject to a meticulous and rigorous intervention, undertaken by himself, the history of this palace goes back to the end of the XIX century, to the year of 1899, when it was built by Cláudio Augusto Rosado for the family of Alfredo César de Menezes Vasconcelos. Those were the golden years, when bourgeoisie families, commonly residents of Lisbon and from other urban centres, were awoken to the benefits of bathing, leisure and outdoor sports. Moreover, still nowadays, Parede is known for the quality of its air, always renewed by the sea breeze, as well as for the therapeutic characteristics of its beaches, due to the intense presence of iodine – fact that explains the construction, in 1904, near the sea, of an important health unit, Sant’Ana Hospital. This hospital is specialised in orthopaedic treatment and bone diseases. Hospital Sant’Ana transformed Parede into an elected destination for Portuguese and foreign families looking for treatments in those specialties. This was how, between the end of the XIX century, and at the beginning of the XX century numerous palaces and summer chalets were built, many of them currently under rehabilitation works, which will allow them to reach their original architectonic beauty and charm.
For João Ramalho Fernandes, current owner, this was above all a family life project. Two decades ago, when he acquired this home, wear and tear was visible, as a result of the years of usage, even as a private school. The goal of the project was to build a dream house for his family, recovering as faithfully as possible, the original materials, features and characteristics from the original structure. On stripping the walls, he sought the essence of the colour shades that originally covered them; the wood flooring was purged from undesirable tenants and kept without change, as well as the windows and doors. Stained glass was recovered with a thorough artisanal work, keeping the original look and original plaster, while crown moulding obliged him to recreate the original moulds from traces remaining, in an obvious attempt to keep its authenticity, originality and beauty. Original wall tiles and pavement mosaics were kept as much as possible. Simultaneously, there was a concern with historically reconstructing and rehabilitating the property, the house was equipped with most modern appliances both electrically, plumbing-wise, security and surveillance, which allow the owners to monitor the house from anywhere in the world.
In its wide and classical entrance hall, an elegant wooden and iron staircase seduces us, softly curling around, inviting us to climb it and discover the upper floor rooms. The ceilings are high on this majestic floor that opens into the corridors which lead to more ample rooms, enlightened by the tall windows, that let the sun in and install itself in the four corners of the house. In the attic, with beautiful views over the neighbouring houses and gardens, over Parede town allow us to discover the astonishing horizon of sea, where the three sons of the couple used to live. Strong memories of infant years are present, from childhood to adolescence, with tiny doors and experiences worth of being featured in Alice in the Wonderland, adventures kept up to their adult years.
In the end, the staircase leads us to the top floor of this dream made into a house, from where you can see everything, 360 degrees around. The vane reveals where the wind blows, the lightning nod protects us from the worst storms yet looking down can cause serious dizziness to the most sensitive.
After everything shown and stated with such dedication and emotion, there is a question that remains: why is a house like this for sale? The answer is quite simple and the motivation understandable: children grew and now have their own houses, there are other family homes and, usually, the owner couple, still without grandchildren, spend long periods of time in Brazil. This house has become to big for them. It’s a house that deserves to be lived at it’s fullest, especially considering it’s maintenance needs.
This is why, if you are thinking about buying a house in Cascais and the story we have told you made you fall in love, we recommend you to not miss out on visiting this romantic palace where the quiet, history and modern walk side by side. With a discreet yet accessible location and excellent attributes, having the privilege of living here with your family is making the choice to be very happy. There are places with history that deserve to be part of your story. This is one of them.
|Our thanks to the owners of the house and to Porta da Frente | Christie’s Real Estate Agency responsible for commercialising this house.