Sintra – What to do pt.2
Go Check pt.1 of what to do in Sintra!
9. Palace of Queluz
The date of its construction goes back to 1747, when the Infante D. Pedro III, future king, ordered its edification, based on a country house that had belonged to Marquês de Castelo Rodrigo, in century XVII.
Often compared to the Palace of Versailles in France, however, the Queluz National Palace preserves a strong Portuguese identity and continues to be one of the Government’s preferred settings for official receptions and meetings of international Heads of State.
10. Cape of Rock
If you go to Sintra, you can not miss a visit to the most western point of Continental Europe, Cabo da Roca. About 150 meters from the sea, here you can have a comprehensive view of the Serra de Sintra and the coast, which makes it worth the visit.
Historical records point to the existence of a fort at Cabo da Roca in the 19th century. XVII that played an important role in the port of Lisbon, forming a defensive line along the coast, especially during the Peninsular Wars. At present, there are only traces, in addition to the lighthouse which remains an important point for navigation.
11. Palace of Seteais
It is on days that run one of the most famous and exquisite hotels in Portugal. But its history dates back to the 18th century, when it was commissioned by Daniel Gildemeester, then consul of Holland in Portugal. At the end of the same century, the Palace was sold to the fifth Marquis of Marialva, the great estribeiro of the Kingdom, who added a new building to the original work and joined the two nuclei by an arch.
The Palace of Seteais is located 1 km from the historic center. Since the main building now runs a hotel, access to the general public is limited. However, the exterior and part of the gardens can be visited.
12. Capuchos Convent
Franciscan convent built in direct contact with nature and according to a philosophy of extreme architectural and decorative despoiling. The Convent of the Capuchos, of small size and notable for the extreme poverty of its construction, is also known as “Convent of the cork”, given the extensive use of cork in the protection and decoration of its small spaces.
Its rusticity and austerity are indissociable from the surrounding vegetation, in total integration with nature, to the point of incorporating huge fragments of granite into the building.
13. Monserrate Park
The surrounding gardens of the Monserrate Palace received species from around the world and were organized by geographical areas, reflecting the diverse origins of the plants and composing scenarios along winding paths, among ruins, corners, lakes, and waterfalls.
This is particularly true thanks to the programmatic intervention of the landscape architect William Stockdale, the botanist William Neville and the master gardener James Burt and, above all, the romantic spirit of Francis Cook, we can find today in the Monserrate Park contrasting of sinuous paths through ruins, corners, lakes, and waterfalls suggest the dominion of Nature over Man, while allowing us the contact with ancestral tree and Araucaria ferns, agaves and palm trees that recreate a Mexican scenery, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, and bamboo, resembling a Japanese garden.
14. Serra de Sintra
An 11-kilometer-long granite mountain chain, reaching 519 meters in Cruz Alta, an east-west orientation. It is integrated with the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais, presenting, in its foothills, the town of Sintra. Of its architectural richness, for example, the National Palace of Pena, built by D. Fernando II, the Castle of the Moors, the Monserrate Palace, the Capuchos Convent, the Palace of Seteais, and many manor houses are highlighted.
The Peninha is a peak of 490 meters of altitude that offers an astonishing panorama. It has a chapel from the 17th century, built on the rock and decorated with rich panels of tiles. The Sintra Cultural Landscape is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage.
15. Pena Park
Pena Park began to be built in 1839 and contains several native species as well as coming from as far afield as Asia, Oceania, North America, and others, giving it an important exotic element. Besides the beautiful species that prevail in this park, you can still find rails, lakes, fountains and different buildings.
This park, although natural was conceived by King Ferdinand II with the same care attributed to the palace. For this park, D. Fernando devised a scenario of those present in operas and distant landscapes, creating in this park different contrasts linking the lakes, creating waterfalls and using species from all over the world such as Cryptomeria of Japan, New Zealand ferns, Lebanon cedars , araucarias of Brazil in a total of 2000 species.