Friday, 15 June 2018

sintra: palácio da pena

 I think a lot of people think of the Pena Palace when they think about Sintra. And it's no wonder - it's one of the most stunning places I've ever visited and definitely a bucket list worthy location. There's so much to see and every corner of the palace is the prettiest. I mean, I really struggled to pick favourites out of all the photos I took because I liked them all, so here's plenty of them:

Originally the site on the Sintra mountains had a medieval chapel and later a monastery in the 18th century. It was a small and religious site that turned into ruins after a few disasters, namely getting struck by lightning and then an earthquake. It wasn't until Ferdinand II acquired most of the Sintra mountains for himself that something was done to the monastery and other areas on the mountains. He did remodelling on the Castelo dos Mouros and also renovated the monastery into a palace that the Portuguese royals could use as a summer place. The style is very much influenced by romanticism and is kind of whimsical, the King especially wanting lots of arches, medieval and Islamic features, and ornate windows. Also, the last Queen of Portugal, Amélia (whose picture and her sketch of the palace you can find below), spent her last nights at the palace before being exiled, so it was kind of the last place of the monarchy.

I don't even know what else to say, other than it's the most gorgeous fairy tale palace. The intricate details and vibrant colours make it such an interesting place, and I love how there's just as much to see outside as there is inside. There's also a couple of places to eat at the palace, and if you're there you should try the Queijadas that are little cakes that are made only in this region. In addition to the palace, Pena also has a park that looks really lovely, but we didn't have too much time to explore it as we had to go catch a train back to Lisbon. Which is fine with me, as I now have a valid reason to go back! Honestly, I cannot but recommend going to Sintra, and especially seeing the Pena Palace. So gorgeous.

Also, it's so lovely how you can see the Castelo dos Mouros from Pena, and vice versa. Luckily the weather had cleared up a bit, and we got to see some views!


Hena Tayeb said...

Oh what a great post, beautiful pictures.. it brings back such wonderful memories..we absolutely loved Sintra.. such an enchanting town.

Laura Jones said...

Hena Tayeb - thank you so much, lovely! it's hard not to love sintra, it really is such a stunning place with a charm that's like no other place! xx

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