Monday, October 17, 2016

What is it about Sintra that everybody loves?

Sintra is a picturesque, almost storybook, Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra range. This is a slightly cooler climate than Lisbon and it gets a bit more wind because of its elevation. This enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, to construct exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens.  See for yourself!

The town hall is the first thing that catches your eye as you walk from the train station.

The National Palace was was extensively used by the nobility of Portugal between the 15th and 19th centuries and born witness to the growth of the country and the incredible world wide navigation and exploration. Imagine living in a town that was the epicenter of some of the most fantastic news of "The New World." The Palace’s most distinctive exterior features are the two huge chimneys that extend from the kitchens.  While inside the state rooms reflect the extensive history of the palace.

The Palace of Sintra.  The residence of the Portuguese royal family circa 12th century.

The Swan room..

These are the chimneys that channel smoke from the kitchen

Several cielings are adorned with the most fantastic ornimentation

Pena Palace is the best attraction of Sintra. This 19th century palace was designed by a king who was passionate about the arts and wished his royal retreat to reflect that of an opera. The exterior is painted vivid colors, with decorative towers and battlements and statues of mythological creatures.

I took this pic from the castle wall of the old Moor ruins

The main entrance to Palacio da Pena

Amazing colors create a  surreal experience

King Ferdinand II built this amazing palace in the 1800's

Details like this carving abound

Dining service

Frescoe like sea shells and broken tile

Typical interior furnishings

Ornate carvings everywhere!

The Quinta da Regaleira is a decorative stately home but the main attractions are the elaborate grounds. The gardens are filled with mystic symbolism and hidden features which include secret tunnels, Gothic towers and stone fortified walls.  How many can you spot?


The tiles are unique and expertly placed

Can you see the mirror in the library?

A remote chapil

The artistry in the glass work is still vivd

So beautiful

So amazing!

The alter is ornate and crafted exquisite detail everywhere

Another view

The structure is unlike anything I have ever seen

Monserrate Palace’s styling was strongly influenced by the North African and Indian designs and was constructed and owned by three notable Englishmen, who used the house as a summer retreat. The house has wonderful intricate carved details and the high vantage point provides wonderful vistas over the carefully arranged gardens.

Yet another surreal structure

Inside the chapil

Along the hallway

The West wing...

A happy gargoyle...

The East Wing

Mid level in the center of the building

The center dome

Guest rooms flow from the second floor around the cupola

The back yard...

India was the inspiration for the architectural details...

AND Sintra is a wired town!

The Palace of Sintra again...

Town hall

I hope you all enjoyed the pics,  Sintra is like a trip to another world.  A surreal town unlike any other we have every seen.   The world is full of amazing places - and this is one of them.  If you every get the chance to visit Sintra please do.  I hope you find it as wonderful as we did!  If we could figure out a way to live here we surly would! Beautiful, delightful, fantastical and a bit mystical - immersed in history and culture - Sintra. 


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