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Sintra – What to do pt.1

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A few minutes from Lisbon, Sintra is the land of the palaces, the enchanted mountain range, the legends, and the exuberant nature. The list of the best places to visit in Sintra is enormous and it is difficult to visit this enchanting village in a few days. Accept our tips and, depending on the time you have to visit Sintra, choose your own places to visit in Sintra. Discover 15 dream places to visit in Sintra.

1. Pena Palace
The dazzling Pena Palace is one of the greatest examples of the romantic revival of the 20th century. XIX in Portugal. Situated in Monte da Pena, it was built on the site of a former convent of friars of the Order of St. Jerome. It was the fruit of the imagination of D. Fernando, who married Queen D. Maria II in 1836.
In love with Sintra, he decided to acquire the convent and surrounding lands to build the summer palace of the royal family. The king consort adopted to the palace Portuguese architectural and decorative forms, to the revivalist taste (neo-gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, neo-renaissance) and in the surroundings decided to make a magnificent park in English, with the most varied tree species exotic species.

2. The Palace of Regaleira
The Palace of the Regaleira was born in the early 20th century, the imagination of its owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, and the architect responsible for the project, the Italian Luigi Manini.
From the dream to reality was born the Quinta da Regaleira, a junction of various artistic and architectural trends, from Gothic to Manueline with a Renaissance touch. The result was a unique creation, full of magical nooks and details that do not hide the union between National history and the mythical and esoteric side, inevitably associated with the Sintra mountain range.

3. Azenhas do Mar
A viewpoint that gives us the coastal perspective of Sintra. With an overwhelming view of the slopes down to the Atlantic Ocean, in all its strength, but flanked by the picturesque scenery of small houses blue-edged, almost as if carved in the rock.
In this idyllic setting, the sea cuts the cliffs forming small natural pools. It is located in the parish of Colares, 14 km from the Historic Center of Sintra.

4. Castle of the Moors
Serpenteando by two peaks of the Serra de Sintra, the Castle goes back to the beginnings of the peninsular occupation by the Moors – the VIII century. Conquered definitively, after several attempts, by D. Afonso Henriques, in 1147, there was built the first Christian chapel of the county, dedicated to Saint Peter.
In the romantic period, around 1860, the walls were restored under the control of D. Fernando II, who lined the surrounding spaces, conferring on the old medieval ruins a new dignity. Of note, the Cisterna Moura in the interior, and the so-called royal tower. It is situated around 3.5 km from the historic center of Sintra.

5. National Palace of Sintra
Also known as the Royal Palace or the Palácio da Vila, the National Palace of Sintra stands in Praça da República, the historical center of Sintra. The two large twin chimneys, coming from the kitchen of the Palace, are their trademark and dominate the landscape of the entire historical center of the village.
It began as a Moorish Palace and, over the course of the various eras, several new bodies were added to its initial structure. Today, it is one of the most important examples of realenga architecture in Portugal, always linked to the most significant periods of our country’s history. For all this, it has the rank of National Monument and is often used for the scenery of cultural events or official meetings.

6. Ursa Beach
The question is how to get to Praia da Ursa, one of the most beautiful in the country that hides behind the cliffs that raise Cabo da Roca, which almost only the sea has access, located on the coast of the Natural Park of Sintra.
The name derives from one of the enormous pebbles that are nailed to the sand, which they gave the name of the bear, and already there we go to the legend. Beside him is another, baptized as a giant. It’s a hideout so out of sight that it served well for some nudists to try it on.

7. Monserrate Palace
The Palace of Monserrate is inserted in the Park of Monserrate, located in the Parish of Saint Martin. The palace was designed by architects Thomas James Knowles (father and son) and built in 1858, by order of Sir Francis Cook, Viscount of Monserrate.
This palace, which was the summer residence of the Cook family, was built on the ruins of the neo-Gothic mansion built by the English merchant Gerard de Visme, who was responsible for the first palace in Monserrate. William Beckford rented the estate in 1793, performing works in the palace, beginning to create a landscaped garden.

 

8. Chalet Condessa d’Edla
The Chalet of the Countess D ‘Edla was built by King Ferdinand II and his second wife, Elise Hensler, Countess D’ Edla, from 1864 to 1869, according to the model of the Alpine Chalets then in vogue in Europe.
It is a building with a strong scenic load characterized by the horizontal marking of the exterior plaster, painted to imitate a coating on wooden planks, and by the exhaustive use of cork as a decorative element. The garden next to the Chalet combines native vegetation and botanical species from the four corners of the world.

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