Palácio da Pena - Pena Palace, Sintra
The Palacio Nacional da Pena is such an imaginative building from an architectural standpoint that even the most jaded traveler will be intrigued. Think Disneyland crossed with a brightly-colored wedding cake and you might have a close facsimile of the palace. It was the result of the creative energies of two men, Dom Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg-Gotha (the husband of Queen Maria II) and Prussian architect Ludwig von Eschwege and was commissioned in 1840. Dom Fernando bought the ruins of the Hieronymite Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena, which formerly stood on the mountaintop, in order to build his residence according to his over-the-top romantic taste.
What an amazing place! In my opinion, The Pena National Palace is the architectural pinnacle of Sintra, appropriately perched on the highest hill above the city. After unintentionally hiking all the way to the top we felt like we deserved a reward and this building certainly satisfied our wish. By the time, we reached the palace, the fog was rolling in and eventually the whole mountain was shrouded by a white blanket. While the fog clouded our ability to take good photos, it definitely enhanced the experience of visiting the palace. The building is already a quirky fantasy of a structure. Throw in a cold mist and the feeling that we were walking in the sky inside a thick and mysterious cloud and the whole thing became absolutely surreal!
The palace was built on the highest peak of the Serra de Sintra. It was built in the 19th century by Ferdinand King Consort with an eclectic arrray of architectural styles. It is fully furnished and looks just the way it did when the royal family left when the republic was declared in 1910. This is the best picture we could get looking up from Castelo Mouros. It absolutely poured the day we went.
The main attraction of Sintra still is the Palacio da Pena, and it really deserves to be. It looks funny, but it is very very attractive. I can imagine that the royal family loved living there!
You can get a tour through the building (unfortunately you have to leave your cameras at the entrance) and see how the royals used to live. You also go outside during this trip, and see what they used to see! Ah, some people have had a fantastic life (although I feel fortunate to have seen it as well, of course)...
Some of Pena's highlights are the great views - looking east, Lisbon may be seen, 30 Km away, and in the opposite direction, the views over the coastline are breathtaking.
Extraordinary!!!!! The rooms are exquisite, you can have an idea how royalty lived, their daily habits and their tastes. I just loved the bathroom!
As you leave the palace, do not miss the walk through the beautiful palace park, more a forest, complete with lakes with swans. Views of the palace from here are really beautiful.
Medieval style castle built by German prince in the 19th century. Lots of unique features (the guy must have had a sense of humor), great views, and very pretty gardens.
A quintessentially romantic palace filled with art works and souvenirs of royalty.
No, it's not a DISNEY PARC!!!!