The wonderful manor house
Founded in 1973, it was only on April 23, 1996, that the Olivais Library opened its doors in the restored Contador-mor Palace.
This Palace, as well as its surrounding area, was the property of a member of the Van-Zeller family, who, in 1702, had come to Portugal as minister resident of the King of Prussia. Later, one of his children became head bookkeeper of the Kingdom, and so the palace became known as the Palace of the Contador-mor (Head Bookkeeper).
In the well-known Eça de Queiroz book, “Os Maias”, first published in 1888, there are some references to the Olivais, such as when Carlos da Maia recalls the Manor house of a friend as the perfect love-nest for Maria Eduarda and himself: “Carlos immediately remembered the beautiful house of Craft, in Olivais […] What a wonderful house for her, a country artist; so befitting her taste!”
What you may not know, is that the writer’s inspiration for this “wonderful manor house” was our Contador-mor Palace.
Currently, the Olivais Library has for its neighbour the Pedagogical Animal Farm, sharing with it the peaceful gardens as well as the delicious snacks served by the Esplanada Kiosk.
The Olivais Library collection is complemented by the Comic Strip Library Service, housed on the ground floor, where any lover of comic strips or graphic novel, in its many formats, has access to a fabulous collection of over 10 000 titles available for consultation or loan. It is indeed a true collection trove available to all.
Want to know more? Speak to us!
How to get there
- Bus: 708 / 759
- Subway: Olivais