The Queluz National Palace (Portuguese: Palácio Nacional de Queluz) is a Portuguese 18th-century palace located at Queluz, a freguesia of the modern-day Sintra Municipality, in the Lisbon District. One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, the palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro's death in 1786. Following the destruction by fire of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent, John VI, and his family and remained so until the Royal Family fled to Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal.
In the 21st century, the palace gardens, once an irrigated oasis in the centre of parched farmland, are bounded by the "Radial de Sintra" motorway which feeds traffic towards Lisbon and away from Sintra. However, transportation and tourism have been the saviours of the palace. Since 1940 it has been open to the public as a museum. It houses much of the former royal collection, including furniture, Arraiolos carpets, paintings, and Chinese and European ceramics and porcelain.
In 1957, the "Dona Maria Pavilion" in the palace's east wing was transformed into a guest house for visiting heads of state. Today the palace's principal rooms are therefore not simply museums, but the setting for official entertaining.
The town square that the palace faces, "Largo do Palácio de Queluz", remains relatively unaltered since the 18th century. The large houses, once the homes of courtiers, and the former Royal Guard quarters with its campanile are still clustered around the palace. In latter years, the town of Queluz has expanded considerably to become one of the suburbs of Lisbon. The Palace of Queluz is one of Lisbon's many tourist attractions.