Palácio da Pena - Pena Palace, Sintra
Favorite thing: When you begin your tour through the rooms, the first thing you see is King Ferdinand's statue, who was known in Portugal as Dom Fernando II, the artist king. Like is cousin Albert, who married the English Queen Victoria, he loved art, nature and the new inventions. He was also a watercolour painter. In 1869, 16 years after the death of the Queen Maria II, Ferdinand married his mistress, the opera singer Countess Edla. His lifelong dream of building the Palace of Pena was completed in 1885, the year he died.
Since we couldn't take any pictures inside the palace you shouldn't miss these rooms:
Chapel: The 6th-century alabaster and marble retable was sculpted by Nicolau Chanterene. Each niche portrays a scene of the life of Christ, from the manger to the Ascension.
Arab Room: The waals and ceiling are all covered with trompe-l'oeil frescoes that give the impression that all the room are all sculpted.
Ballroom: This is the last room of the visit, and it's really an amazing end, since the room is huge and sumptuously furnished.
Most of the rooms that we can see surround a cloister that is part of the original monastery buildings.
(don't know if the title is spelt like that...) but i was reading some stuff about Sintra in which they said "the exemples of the architectural majestude are a bit rare as if it wasn't necessary facing all the nature involving." And in fact, the great thing about Sintra is the sumptous nature, and how that village is set in the middle of it.
Fondest memory: the pic is Palace of Pena, one of the few exemples of great architecture.
Built in the 19th century for the husband of the young Queen MAria II, Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the Palace of Pena stands over the ruins of a Hieronymite monastery founded here in the 15th century on the site of the chapel of Our Lady of Pena.
Ferdinand appointed a German architect, Baron Von Eschwege, to build his summer palace filled with oddities from all over the world and surrounded by a park.
With the declaration of the Republic in 1910, the palace become a museum, preserved as it was when the royal family lived here.
Favorite thing: Fernando II whose origins where German wanted to make a park in which he would combine plants of his homeland with exotic plants. The place its self has its own microclimate and he succeded in his plan. We were told this is the only park in the world where something like that is achieved.
The castle itself looks like something where I'd imagined a Snow White had lived :-D
I'd say its better to visit the Palace in the afternoon, cos we found ourselves in the middle of a "tourist jam". Was really very annoying waiting 10 mins before entering in each of the rooms in the Palace.
Fondest memory: The kitchen!
You have to see that!
I was expecting to take some pictures of the palace's rooms but unfortunately we had to delivery our cams to the guards at the room's entrance. So the only thing I did was take some pictures outside.
Please see the travelogue to see some of the pictures I took. Hope you enjoy it.
"I offer a candy to who guesses Pena's style".
It's a funny challenge: what style? All of them are there, but none of them dominant. The palace seems to be a collection of styles and influences, without any kind of option or preference.
Maybe kitsch, maybe revivalist, maybe too complex, maybe humorist, maybe an accident, it is there, and interesting to explore.
Yes, arrive as early as possible, even 15-20 minutes BEFORE they open the gates. You get in first and can find empty spaces without tourists....
You can also find PARKING...which if you arrive later may be way far away or non-existant.
Also the early morning fog, if you are lucky, will create a magical atmosphere.
We also walked back and forth between the Palacio de Pena and the Moorish Castle.