Located on the eastern edge of Porto, on the banks of the River Douro is one of the finest Baroque houses to be found in Portugal. It was built in the mid-18th century to a design by Nicolau Nasoni, one of Portugal's most famous architects. Nasoni is perhaps best known for the Mateus Palace and Tower of Clerigos, both considered Baroque masterpieces.
The Palace at Freixo was built for a canon from a wealthy family, although it was soon sold on to local industrialist, António Afonso Velado. It was during his tenure that the gardens were landscaped in an Italian style with various themed sculptures and features. It was also during this time that the first factory was built on the site; a small soap factory.
In the 20th century there was a good deal of industrial development on the adjacent plot resulting in the strange juxtaposition of Baroque manor house and factory building we have now. The large red factory building with its towering chimney were owned by the Companhia de Moagens Harmonia (Harmony Milling Company).
Today the Palace of Freixo is a state-owned pousada offering accommodation. Both the palace and neighbouring mill are available to stay in and house large events or meetings.