Palácio da Pena - Pena Palace, Sintra
To say this place (correction, palace) is a little on the OTT (over-the-top) side is an understatement. It's a remarkable example of Portuguese Romantic architecture with a profusion of eclectic styles that includes the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance. Built at approximately 500 metres above sea level, it dates back to 1839, when the prince consort D. Fernando II of Saxe-Coburg (1816-1885) bought the ruins of the Hieronymus Monastery of Our Lady of Pena, built in 1503, and began to make it into a small palace. To oversee the work, he called Baron Eschwege, whose inspiration for this remarkable edifice came from palaces in Bavaria.
The construction took place between 1842–1854, although it was almost completed in 1847: King Ferdinand and Queen Maria II intervened decisively on matters of decoration and symbolism. Among others, the King suggested vault arches, Medieval and Islamic elements be included, and he also designed an exquisitely ornate window for the main façade. After the death of Ferdinand the palace passed into the possession of his second wife Elisa Hensler, Countess of Edla. The latter then sold the palace to King Luís, who wanted to retrieve it for the royal family, and thereafter the palace was frequently used by the family. In 1889 it was purchased by the Portuguese State, and after the Republican Revolution of 1910 it was classified as a national monument and transformed into a museum. The palace quickly drew visitors and became one of Portugal's most visited monuments. Over time the colours of the red and yellow façades faded, and for many years the palace was visually identified as being entirely gray. By the end of the 20th century the palace was repainted and the original colours restored which are a little on the garish side. The interior was adapted to serve as the Summer residence of the royal family and features amazing stuccos, painted walls and various tiles from the 19th century. Unfortunately, it's not allowed to take photos once inside.
Open: 9.45am-7pm. Admission: €14.00 when combined with entry to the nearby Moorish Castle.
Colorful and kind of"funny" palace,and a "must" thing for Sintra-vistors.Personally we liked mooris castle more,but of course we wanted to see this also.And one funny thing for us,was the name.My father´s nick-name is Pena :) We send a card to him from his own palace ;)
I think that kids might like this also.
The Palace dates back to 1839, when the King Consort Dom Fernando II of Saxe Coburg-Gotha (1816-1885) bought the ruins of the Hieronymite Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena and started to adapt it for use as a residence, according to his Romantic taste.
As you can see the varying architectural styles, not to mention the colors, or have I already mentioned those ^)o(^.....make the Pena Palace a very enjoyable trip there if not for the history, then for the photographic opportunities...
Sorry about those "Very strange Tourists" in the fourth photo, they insisted that I take their photo....
Sorry that my camera was not up to capturing the views from the palace, it would seem that one of the reasons to build here on top of a mountain, other than the ability to protect oneself beeter, would be for the VIEWS. Each and every way you look you have an extended perspective on the surroundings. As you can see in the first photo, that Tal took of me, I had to go out on the ramparts to get a better look.
Pena Palace looking out over the landscape above the Portugese town of Sintra commands a perfect view of the countryside, but it also has its own interior landscapes which are a delight. The numerous and totally different styles gives the impression of an architect driven to extremes. The styles, not to mention the colors catch your attention at each and every corner of the palace.
It is not often on our travels that I am surprised by a place, in Sintra we found the Pena Palace and I WAS SURPRISED...how had they kept this wonderful architectural wonderland a secret from me....????
Your first view of the castle, which is hidden because of the forest, is a peak through those trees, giving you only a glimpse, sort of teasing you with what is to come.
The gates, of which there are several which you must pass through to access the main buildings are of differing styles. As you can see the main entrance gate has what looks to be triangles or diamonds bulging out all over it..I was immediately reminded of a building in Ferrara, Italy with the same style and a legend that goes with it -- that there is an enormous diamond to be found within one of the diamond shapes.
Did I mention that from the entrance gate where the bus from Sintra leaves you off, you can catch a "tram" from the gate to the palace. Or you can do as we did, WALK...but I must warn you it is a steep climb.
This palace was built in the 19th century in order of Ferdinand von Coburg Gotha (D. Fernando II) hi was married to Queen Maria II.
To get to Pena Palace you can buy Circuito da Pena bus ticket on bus 434
(This bus stops at Sintra Estacao, Sintra Vila, Castelo do Mouros and Palacio da Pena.) We paid 4.50 euro for a return to Pena Palace ( Circuito da Pena) from Sintra centre and back.
The entrance ticket is very confusing but i guess you need to pay 11 euro and we had no time to visite the gardens we walked up from the entrance and then we saw a bus you can use it but need to pay 2 euro for return and you can walk it in less then 10 minutes but up hill.
open 1st may - 15th September 9.45 - 19.00 last entry half hour before closing or an hour
16/09 - 30/04 10.00 - 17.00
closed 1 jan 25th dec
Entrance 11 euro
think there is a discount for kids and 65+ and family tickets but not sure.
it was not aloud to take pictures in the small palace and bags you have to carry at the front as the paths are small.
we went with 4 to this palace and had 1 ticket together so we had to stick together.
Redang , Longsanborn +1 (Helena and Lee? from Vienna)
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If you have few time to visit Sintra, you should definitely go first to Palacio da Pena. The Castel is amazing, very interesting decoration. The Castle is on the top of the hill and provides with an amazing 360ºc panoramic view over the city of Sintra, the Forest and the sea. It is breathtaking.
I think this is a must. If you have further time, I would then recommend you to walk in the historical center, stop by the artcraft shops and have a coffee. Very inspiring!
On the highest peaks of the Serra de Sintra stands a magnificent palace with amazing gardens. Again it is a palace with a mixture of architectural styles.It was built in the 19th century for the husband of queen maria the second.
It is enchanting and is worthy of at least a couple of hours spending time wandering around the gardens and visiting the palace.
It is a bit like a fantasy castle with domes and towers.
This fairytale like palace is a highlight of Sintra. We arrived here in the afternoon having already hiked up to the Moorish Castle so we were quite tired by the time we got here. The palace is at the top of large woodland gardens with some lovely hidden spots and small lakes and flower displays.
It costs 6 Euro to enter the palace and having already spent the morning in the Palacio Nacional we didn't spend too long looking around inside. The castle looks much better from afar than it does up close and the interior wasn't as interesting as the Palacio Nacional. The gardens and the views from the palace are the two most impressive things to see.
The third jewel in Sintra's crown is the Palacio da Pena - a strange romantic castle built on one of the peaks of the Serra de Sintra next door to the Moorish Castle. This amazing structure was built on the site of an old monastery when the land was purchased in 1839 by a Bavarian Prince, Ferdinand, who was married to the Queen of Portugal. In collaboration with a German engineer, they built this hodgepodge of architectural styles during the Romantic age as a gift for the Queen. It really is quite an amazing display and, with the coming of a Republic in Portugal, it has become a museum since 1910. The wide swath of forests and mountains surrounding the castle is protected as a park.
This view, taken by zoom from the Moorish Castle, was as close as we got to the Pena Palace - no more walking! Our 7E entrance fee to the Castle would have also allowed us entry to the Palace but it was just too far on this day!
Th palace is located at about 4.5 kilmometers from downtown. You better take a taxi to take you up there and make it wait for you. The uphill walk is awful and if you don't secure a way to get back to town, you'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Simply the most amazing and beautiful palace ever built and is considered the perfect example of Portuguese Romantic architecture. It is a combination of moorish and gothic styles. It stands crowning the Sintra Serra.
The Pena Palace was the home of the Portuguese royal family in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It sits on the mountaintop overlooking Sintra and features a wild mix of architectural styles and colors. The site was originally occupied by a convent, whose surviving cloister was incorporated into the palace's layout. Much of the palace is open to the public via a self-guided tour.
Other VT members have said "Walt Disney." I beg to differ. During near hurricane conditions, and before the annual coat of yellow and red paint, it was more "Vincent Price." But no matter what, this palace is worth a visit even if it is largely a pastiche.
Photography is prohibited inside, where the rooms are fairly small and decorated to within an inch of their lives. It is not as atmospheric as the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang - probably because the Portugal Royals did not share the Lao Royals' horrible fate - but the feeling is similar: half crazy palace, half eccentric grandma's house.
Unless you're in fantastic shape, do take the bus from town. However you can skip the tram from the gate to the castle. Then, after the visit, walking back to town via the Moors Castle is very pleasant if you're halfway fit.