Located just 30 minutes from Lisbon, the town of Sintra has long been a favorite destination for monarchs, poets, and visitors looking for a special place to get away.
Whether you visit as a day trip from Lisbon, or stay for a few days, you are sure to be captivated by the town that UNESCO designated as a World Heritage Site. This enchanting town boasts fairy tale palaces, incredible vistas, and a castle that was once the summer residence of the monarchs.
The centerpiece of Sintra is the Palácio Nacional de Pena, which was built in 1838. The colorful palace is perched high on a hilltop overlooking the city, and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. For more information on the Pena Palace, click here.
In addition to Sintra’s iconic palace, there’s much more to see, including:
- Palácio Nacional de Sintra – the Sintra National Palace, also known as the Paço Real or Palácio da Vila, was originally built by the Moors and was expanded by King John I in the 15th C. and King Manuel I in the 16th C. Visitors can admire the extensive collection of Mudéjar tiles, and its twin chimney towers have become a symbol of the town. For more information, click here.
- Castelo dos Mouros – the Castle of the Moors was built between the 8th and 9th centuries and winds over two ridges of the Serra de Sintra. For more information, click here.
- Quinta da Regaleira – a beautiful country estate built between 1904-1910 by the wealthy nobleman, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. He commissioned the Italian set-designer and architect Luigi Manini to create a romantic palace and gardens on the outskirts of town. For more information, click here.
- Parque e Palácio de Monserrate – an impressive park and estate that was the summer residence of a wealthy English merchant, Francis Cook. In the 1860s he transformed the ruins of a neo-Gothic palace using a combination of Gothic, Indian and Moorish influences, and surrounded it with lush botanical gardens. The palace is considered one of the most important examples of Romantic architecture in the country. For more information, click here.
Photo credit: Singa Hitam
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