Sintra, in my opinion, was the summer garden for the royal family. Queluz counted in, there are four palaces. Even I could feel what a sumptuous life the aristocrats led back then.
This is the most famous Pena Palace, located on the top of the hill above Sintra.
There is a small garden by the entrance.
It is very cool up there. The guards put on overcoats on the sunny summer day. We did understand why after being there for a while.
The palace started with a chapel in the Middle Ages worshipping Our Lady of Pena. Later, King Manuel I turned it into a monastery.
The monastery was destroyed in the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755. In 1838, King Ferdinand II rebuilt it as the summer palace for the Portuguese royal family.
The main architect Eschwege was German. He was much traveled and believed to have much knowledge about the castles on the Rhine River. That explains why the Pena Palace has a Romanticist style.
In fact, the architecture includes an array of influence including the Moorish, neo-Gothic, neo-Manueline and neo-Renaissance styles.
The prince was waiting to be saved!
Though it's one of the most visited tourist spots in Portugal, there wasn't an overwhelming number of tourists on the day we went. It was a lovely visit for us.
The Pena Palace is situated in the Pena Park, which covers over 200 hectares of uneven terrain. It was a pity that we didn't have time to enjoy the beauty of the forest...