26 Dec 2017

Bond and Tracy in Lisbon - Palácio Fronteira

As it is Christmas, I'd thought it appropriate to share one of the locations from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only Bond film where Christmas is celebrated and features rather prominently, even with Blofeld wishing 007 a merry Christmas. The film also features a Christmas song, especially written for the film by the composer John Barry.

In the film, Bond falls in love with Teresa di Vicenzo, the daughter of an Italian gangster. They share a few romantic moments together in Lisbon early in the film. A few scenes were filmed in what appears to be a park, first with Bond wearing a black tie, and later, with him in a double breasted blazer. Both these scenes were filmed in the same location, namely in the 5.5 hectare large garden of Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira, just outside central Lisbon.

During these scenes Tracy falls in love with Bond and ultimately marries him, which would prove to be fatal. The scene with Bond and Tracy petting the cat by the fountain was filmed in the smaller garden which is located on the back of the palace (south of the building) and the next scene with Bond and Tracy walking by another fountain, this time in different clothes, was filmed in the lower main garden. These scenes will be covered next year.

Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira and the main garden

The palace is still the private residence of the Marquesses of Fronteira but is sometimes open to the public. Check dates and time before going there.

The main garden - located east of the palace building
The Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira was built between 1671 and 1672 as a hunting pavilion to Dom João de Mascarenhas, 1st Marquis of Fronteira, who had received his title from King Afonso VI of Portugal.

This is the smaller garden where the first scenes were filmed. Bond and Tracy are coming towards the fountain (from the house) and are heading east (to the right) before Tracy sits down by the fountain.

Some steps lead down to the large lower main garden from this smaller garden where the scene with Bond and Tracy were filmed.

The palace garden is magnificent and a location that must be visited. It has not changed notably since 1969 and the spots are very recognizable. In addition to the the two scenes with Bond and Tracy, a few publicity stills were also shot at this location, primarily the picture below, featuring George Lazenby standing on a stone staircase surrounding a pond. 

As the year is coming to an end, we note that it has indeed been a sad year for the Bond series as we lost Sir Roger Moore on 23 May and we also note the passing of Karin Dor, who played the Spectre villain Helga Brandt in You only live twice on 6 November.

One can only wish that Draco's words from On Her Majesty's Secret Service will be true for 2018.
"The best years are still to come, let's hope"  

I wish you all a very 
Merry Christmas, 
and a happy new 2018!

Ta ta,

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