The Italian architect Nasoni built one of the most origi... - Secret World

Fundação da Casa de Mateus, Casa de Mateus, 5000-291 Vila Real, Portogallo

by Karen Blixen


The Italian architect Nasoni built one of the most original baroque style houses in Europe in Mateus, incorporating highly creative details. The gardens descend from the house in hedged terraces, drawn in a complex series of flowerbeds. A tunnel of cypresses surprises us: one walks through a magnificent vaulted passage formed by the fresh foliage. At the end of the walk, the most beautiful topiary design awaits the visitor, whose lines radiate from a Hinoki cypress [Chamaecyparis obtuse (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl.] in a series of scrolls, arches and arabesques. The oldest traces of the gardens date back to the end of the 18th century, and during the 19th and 20th centuries the gardens underwent new reformulations and the introduction of exotic species.a new entrance framed by a lake, a water mirror built in the 50s which perfectly prolongs the building set: its reflection reproduces the image of the main façade, and it is surrounded by a forest of chestnut trees and oaks.