The original building dated from 1450 and was called Palácio dos Estaus. ‘Estaus’, from ‘Estalagem’, meaning lodging in English was used to lodge passing nobleman and courtiers that didn’t have a permanent home in town. Missing link of Portuguese History king Dom Sebastião was ordered king here to then disappear in combat on a foggy morning in Morocco.
It was devastated by the 1755 earthquake and rebuilt to house a series of public services.
Later, in 1571 it became the Holly Inquisition’s Lisbon headquarters until, while housing the Treasury, it burned up in 1836.
D. Maria II National Theatre, the most prestigious venue in the country, was build in its place and opened in 1846.