THE HOUSE OPENS INTO THE SERPA LANDSCAPE, BOTH TO THE WEST, WHERE IT RISES OVER THE WALLS, AND TO THE EAST, WHERE THE LARGE MAIN FAÇADE FACES THE HISTORIC CENTER.
Palácio Ficalho is a manor house hailing from the second half of the 17th century. It is integrated into the medieval wall that surrounds the historic centre of Serpa. The palace’s name comes from the “Mello” family, who were initially lords, and then counts and marquises of Ficalho.
As a 17th century building, it represents an important example of arquitectura chã (in English, plain architecture), an architectural style in Portugal that comes from the Italian mannerism. Arquitectura chã is characterized by austerity of form and the presence of vernacular traditions. The project is attributed to the architect Mateus do Couto, Sobrinho.
During the 20th century, the marquises of Ficalho, António Martim de Mello and Maria das Dores de Eça de Queirós de Mello, sought to reverse the process of degradation of the building, and started restoration and rehabilitation works that lasted between 1946 and 1974. The quality of their restoration was recognised by the Institut International des Châteaux Historiques, in 1984.
In 2007, Palácio Ficalho was classified as national monument.