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Mafra National Palace: Raking view of the main facade, from the west
Architecture Library, Hesburgh Libraries
In 1717 John V of Portugal, fulfilling a vow made in 1711, determined to rebuild a friary at Mafra for the Franciscans of Arrábida; the project dramatically expanded as the King appointed a vast team of workers. The plan of the palace-convent comprises two rectangles, with apartments on various floors. The rectangle containing the church and palace faces the town of Mafra and the sea, the more secluded rectangle being destined for the friars. The chief influence at Mafra is the architecture of Baroque Rome. The whole complex covers 37,790 m² with about 1,200 rooms.