After the establishment of the Republic in 1910, Palácio das Necessidades was empty until it was occupied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which, coming from Terreiro do Paço, settled there around the year 1926. In May 1952, the Ministry also took up the old Convent's building which had been Lisbon’s Military Headquarters, as well as the Headquarters of the Republican Guard. The works to adapt the old Convent to the Ministry's head office were supervised by architect Raúl Lino.
Currently, State Protocol Department is in the old royal residence, on the following premises: Blue or Dispatch Room, Throne Room, Renaissance Room, and Persian Room (former Queen Amélie’s Living Room and initially the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs), benefiting, for the tasks inherent to the representation of the State, from the solemnity of the Banqueting Room, and from Maria II's former Dining Room.
Leaving the Palace behind and accessing the old Convent, one can notice that the biggest changes in the building were carried out precisely in this area, where most of the Foreign Services are located.
On the second floor, given the existence of another ground floor, attached to Largo do Rilvas’ entrance, stands out the Convent's old kitchen, with its rich tiles, as well as the inner cloister, which harmoniously illuminates the building. On the third floor, accessed by the grand staircase of that same entrance, is currently located the Ministerial Office, as well as two of the Secretaries of State, that work under this Ministry. On the fourth and top floor, are located the Administrative Services.
The strong presence of centuries-old History is reflected in this monument of undeniable value for Portugal. Palácio das Necessidades constitutes a unique reference for the functions of external representation, inherent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Former service quarters, currently Department of Legal Affairs