In today’s world the Christmas illumination of monuments like the Portuguese Mafra National Palace, is made of technological modern LED systems, but it’s still by hand, hanging from ropes, that some o
In today’s world the Christmas illumination of monuments like the Portuguese Mafra National Palace, is made of technological modern LED systems, but it’s still by hand, hanging from ropes, that some of the lights get in place.
Every day during the Christmas period, from six in the afternoon until late night the monumental Baroque and Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery located in Mafra, Portugal, is a spot of light seen from miles around. Considered to be one of the biggest buildings constructed in Europe in the 18th century, the palace is so huge that it dwarfs the city, even more so now that for the second year in a row it is decorated with Christmas lights, 460.000 LED’s consuming 27…000 watts, 1/5th less than regular lighting systems used before.
Municipalities are aware of the environment problems and Mafra is no different. Using the most advanced lighting technologies the monument is more than a static point of light in the night. In fact the illumination changes, with different colours and patterns, attracting the attention of visitors. A huge Nativity scene atop the stairs that lead into the basilica works like the icing on top of the cake.
More than 12 persons worked for over 4.000 hours to create the light decoration, which is based on more than 16.000 meters of cables covering the frontal façade and the two towers of the building. Two computers running an animation system create the show of light that everyday renews itself… but it all started with the force of hand, with some of the workers doing the dangerous job of placing the cables from the top of the monastery´s high roofs, hanging from security lines, a work of days that also attracted the attention of people passing by.
Now and until the first days of Jannuary, Mafra’s Monastery will be the stage for a light show that cares about the environment. The project was made by Blachere, Iluminação Portugal, a company specialized into this kind of work.