Large Stair Rods at Palace of Monserrate

On a recent visit to the Palace of Monserrate in Sintra, Portugal, these glorious, large stair rods were spotted.  The Palace is a gem to visit, despite still being refurbished, and access to the top floor was via this wooden staircase. Perhaps, the renovation work accounts for the gathering dust!

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Silver and ornate: the large stair rods dominate the staircase

The  solid wood, closed string staircase is the main access to the top floor and is an elegant construction.  Carpeted with a plain, natural runner, the stair rods are a prominent feature – their ornate design in contrast to the relative simplicity of the staircase. Grand in style and dimensions, the large stair rods feature both finial embellishments at the tips of the rods and decorative elements where the rods are attached to the staircase by the ornate brackets.   Matt silver in finish, the stair rods seemed in-keeping with the Palace’s Victorian design influences.

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Extended stair rod finials and ornate brackets

Historical interest

The Palace is known to have been built on the site in the late 1790’s by the rich Englishman Gerard De Visme – from all accounts it was a splendid property with a fabulous, romantic garden.  However, it gradually fell into disrepair and decay, as recorded by visitors including Lord Byron.  Francis Cook, the son of a rich textile merchant, ultimately bought the property and set his English architect onto the project of creating a new palace, for summer visits, amidst the ruins, in the 1860’s.  The design is described as heavily influenced by Venetian Palaces of that era, with  strong Moorish and Gothic design features, and it is this relatively small but exquisite Palace you can visit today.

And keep an eye out for those large stair rods!.