Pena National Palace
This palace is the most remarkable example of Portuguese Romantic architecture. Built at approximately 500 metres above sea level, it goes back to 1839, when the prince consort D. Fernando II of Saxe-Coburg bought the ruins of the Hieronymus Monastery of Our Lady of Pena and began to make it into a small palace. To oversee the work, he called Baron Eschwege. Extremely fanciful, Pena’s architecture uses Moorish, Gothic and Manueline motifs.
Sintra National Palace
Built over successive eras, it is one of the most important Portuguese examples of royal architecture and has therefore been classified as a National Monument.
Its current layout results from two phases of building works: the first one, in the reign of D.João I (15th century), and the second in the reign of D. Manuel I (16th century).
It has the greatest collection of Mudéjar tiles in the country. The two large twin chimneys built over the kitchen have become the symbol of Sintra.
Monserrate, created by Sir Francis Cook, is one of the most beautiful landscape creations of the Romantic era. The Palace is surrounded by a remarkable botanical collection due to the micro-climate of the Sintra mountain range.
Queluz National Palace
Queluz National Palace is a striking reflection of a taste and an epoch dominated by the the atrical, by appearances and the need for ample spaces.
Although Queluz is sometimes compared to the Palace of Versailles for its graceful façades, fine Palace gardens dotted with Baroque fountains, statues and spots for dallying, it is a truly Portuguese construction, in its own artistic spirit.
Quinta da Regaleira
At the beginning of the 20th century, Quinta da Regaleira was purchased by the capitalist António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro, who invited Manini to design and build the house at Regaleira . In this project, we found various artistic currents as Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance and also mythical and esoteric traditions.
Quinta da Regaleira is a fabulous assemblage of styles and constructions like gardens, wells, towers, statues, mysterious grottoes and lakes.
It was founded in 1560 by D. Álvaro de Castro. The convent is situated in one of the picks of the Sintra hill and it has been built in granite stone.
It’s also known as the Cork Convent, because the monks used to cover their walls with cork to make their existence bearable on the interior of their rocky divisions.
The Moorish Castle dates back to the early days of the Moorish occupation of the Peninsula at the 8th century. It was taken by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1147, and there was built the first Christian Chapel of the borough.
Sports and Leisure
Our team has gathered a set of activities and events, to help making your stay more pleasant. Therefore we suggest that you the following links:
For people with such an historical rich past, which is the case of the "Sintrenses", the gastronomic aspects acquire strong traditional values that are important to preserve and promote. Varied and abundant, the cookery of the region is truly appealing.
From all the meat plates, it’s important to point out the "Leitão de Negrais" and the “Carne de Porco às Mercês”. Also abundant are the fish dishes, shell fishes and molluscs.
Therefore it’s possible to eat a tasteful “robalo” or sea-bream, delight yourself with an octopus and taste mussels. In the confectionary the highlight goes inevitably to the "Queijadas de Sintra
", ancestral sweet that comes from the middle ages.
But there are also other, that deserve to be tasted. “Travesseiros”, “Pastéis de Pena”, “Nozes de Colares”, ”Fofos de Belas” and a number of traditional jams are made following very old methods.
Along with any meal, its indispensable to taste the “Colares
” wine, namely its famous “Ramisco”, one of the first casts from the glorious Portuguese wine list.
As for the gastronomy, the region of Sintra is indeed very rich and the most well known are:
Carne de porco às Mercês (Mercês Pork meat); Leitão dos Negrais; Vitela à Sintrense (Sintrense Viel); Cabrito assado.
Caldeirada de abrótea e caboz; Migas à Pescador; Escalada de Lapas;Mexilhões na chapa; Mexilhões de cebolada; Açorda de bacalhau.
Parks and Gardens
Explore Sintra's Parks
The Monserrate Park
formerly a cultivation farm exists since the XVIII century, when Gerard DeVisme rented the farm to the Melo and Castro Family, its owner. Since then everyone who followed, from William Beckford, The Cook Family, the Portuguese Estate and finally on September 2000, “Parques de Sintra, Monte da Lua, S.A, society”, have made and effort in creating a marvellous botanical garden, one of its kind.
Crucial for its development was Francis Cook, who turned out to become the first Monserrate Vinscout. Together with William Stockdale, the landscape-painter, the botanic William Nevill and the master gardener James Burt, various different scenery’s were created along sinuous paths between ruins, nooks, cascades and lakes, suggesting through an apparently disorder , the domain of the nature above man. Therefore and always counting with the presence of spontaneous species from Portugal (arbutus, tree holly, cork-oak, and others). The gardens are filled with collections of different species of plants from the 5 continents: metrosideros, kermadecensis from Australia, agaves, palm tries and yuccas from Mexico; rhododendrons, azaleas and bamboos from Japan. On the total there are more then 2500 species!
As a result of the inspiration of King Fernando II, the Pena Park
is the product of the intellectual and artistic tendencies of the XIX Century, the romanticism epoch. With the collaboration of the architect Baron of Eschwege and engineer Baron Kessler, Fernando II elaborated the project of the entire park, which involved the Pena Palace.
Refusing the formal rigidity of the classical gardens and considering the hilly terrain, the fertility of the soil, the climatically singularity of the hill, and the character of the horizons, Fernando II planed the park in a way for it to simulate an almost perfect naturalness. To materialize that idea, he integrated in his projects the knowledge’s that were left by the Jerónimo monks, has he also did in the Palace.
Projected lakes linked between them by cascades and imported, to the forests and woods that he had imagined, species of different plants from various corners of the world. "Criptomérias" from Japan, "foetus" from New Zeeland, “cedar” from Lebanon, “araucarias” from Brazil, North American “tuia” and also some Portuguese exemplars in a total of more than 2 thousand species.
Also spread through the Park are pavilions constructed in the most architectonic styles, founts, small nooks and belvederes.