Palácio da Pena - Pena Palace, Sintra
Pena Palace is outstanding. on top of Sintra's highest hill, it was built in the 19th century by Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Maria II. he brought an architect from his homeland Bavaria to create this extravagant mixture of styles, in which romantic prevails - it is the most complete and notable example of Portuguese architecture in this period, built over the ruins of the former Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena. closed on Mondays. admition 4euros.
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!
Palacio da Pena, also known as Castelo da Pena or Pena Palace is a very unique castle which stands on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra. It is a very colorful mix of several different styles of architectures such as Moorish,Gothic and Renaissance,to name a few. The result is a tad bizarre, but it is impressive...especially with its picturesque setting and lovely views. There are also gardens with lakes you can visit ,if you wish.
Dom Ferdinand II (husband of Queen Maria) hired a German architect to design this castle in the 1800's.
You may take pictures around the castle on the outside, but are not allowed to take pictures inside the castle itself. You have to check your camera in.
It is open 1000 to 1830 during peak-season.
1000 to 1700 during off-season.
It is closed on Mondays.
Admission for the castle and gardens is 6 euros.
It is free with the Lisboa Card.
Built in the 19th century, this is a "German" castle, with a rather artificial look, but that (and its location) is what makes it so interesting, because its bayerisch structure is decorated with unexpected Portuguese and Arab elements.
In my other tips I show some more details of the Palace, with better pictures.
Entrance: (Park included) 9 € (6€ for the holders of Lisboa Card).
This palace, painted with vivid colors, is one of Sintra’s main attractions. It’s located in the top of the hill and it has a dazzling sight over the coast, sea and the hill itself.
There you can visit the palace and its gardens which have lakes and an enormous diversity of plants and trees.
To get there you can take a bus from the village or walk if you find the transportation costs too high – it’s exhausting but the sights while climbing it’s worth it!
For more information visit the site below.
This palace is a mixture of Arab minarets, towers and domes. It was built between 1840 and 1850.
Prince of Baviera D. Fernando of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of D. Maria II ordered it to be build on the site of the ruins of the monastery of Our Lady of Pena.
Inside the palace you can see a large ball room, the kitchen and several rooms.
The palace has been painted yellow and pink in the 90' s. These were its original colours.
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.
This Palace is the best example of the portuguese Romantic architectonical style. It's located at 500m high on top of Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountain) and was built by D. Fernando of Saxe Coburg-Gotha in 1840 over the ruins of an ancient convent.
Pena National Palace is one of the country's most proud monuments. Many call it the crown due to its location on top of the mountain, where it receives visitors from everywhere in the world to testify the magnificence of a romantic construction and the history of a King's true love for art.
Palácio da Pena, or "Castelo da Pena" as it is more commonly known, is the most complete and notable example of Portuguese architecture in the Romantic period. It stands on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra, and blends in a surprisingly fortunate manner with its natural background of greenery and crags, testifying to the aesthetic potentialities of the project.
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.
It is a castle like in your most romantic dreams... with round towers, lovely colors, a wonderful entrance hall...and green all around!!!!
Inspiration sources were the castle of Bavaria, the Moorish, Gothic and Manueline motifs of Portuguese art and the Wagnerian spirit of the Schinkel Castles of Central Europe. A good mix...
It's defenetly an "on the beaten path" tip, usually full of tourists, but still worthy. The Sintra Palace it's one of Sintra "icons". It stands on the very top of an hill. It's strange and beautifull. Last time i went there with some friends form abroad we couldn't be bothered in visiting the palace inside (it's cool but it takes ages), we visited the gardens which are really beautifull.
As for it's architecture it's romantic with luxurious mix of exotic and medeivel styles.
The palace is from 1839 when D.Fernando II from Saxe Coburgo-Gotha bought the ruins of a monastery to make it a palace within is romantic likes. For that he called the Baron von Eschwege who raised a majestic palace inspired by the palaces and castles of Bavaria. The most remarkable thing i find in it
it's the way it blends perfectly with the surrouding nature even thought it's imponent structure and look.
Crowning the Serra de Sintra, as if it were a harmonious prolongation of the range itself, the picturesque and also fantastic Palace of Pena cannot help impressing the visitor. This supreme example of Portuguese romantic architecture is due to the magic materialisation of the dreams of a Prince of Bavaria, Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Maria II. In 1839 he bought the ruins of the former Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena, built in 1503; he developed and enlarged them, with the collaboration of the Prussian engineer Ludwig von Eschwege, to achieve an extremely sensitive creation.
Of note inside the Palace are the Renaissance retable by Nicolau Chanterenne (1529-1532), the exotic, richly worked furniture and the whole romantic atmosphere par excellence. Apart from its historical and museological importance, the Palace is host to concerts of classical music, exhibitions and historical plays.
The most famous building in Sintra is Pena Palace. Built in the 1840s, it is one of Europe's most fantastic palaces, often compared to Neuschwanstein and the other mock-medieval castles of Ludwig of Bavaria in Germany, although it was actually built more than two decades before those. It includes a drawbridge, a conglomeration of turrets, ramparts, and domes, and a gargoyle above a Neo-Manueline arch, all washed in an array of pastel shades. The extravagant interior is decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings, rich ornaments, paintings, and priceless porcelain preserved just as the royal family left them. Other highlights include the spacious ballroom, the marvelous "Arab Room", and an impressive 16th-century chapel altarpiece (part of an original convent founded to celebrate the first sight of Vasco da Gama's returning fleet).
Surrounding the palace is the mystical Pena Park, filled with a variety of trees and exotic plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire, ponds, fountains, and black swans. There is also a charming lodge hidden among the trees that can be visited. At the highest point is a statue of King Ferdinand looking towards his palace, and a viewpoint called "Cruz Alta" overlooking Pena Palace and surroundings.
The Pena Palace blends Gothic, Manueline and Moorish architecture with the whimsical visions of a Bavarian castle and the result is truly breathtaking. Perched on a rocky peak of the Serra de Sintra, it blends in well with its natural surroundings and on a clear day provides tremendous views over Sintra and beyond. This scary looking stone carving is over one of the doorways on the outside of the palace.
You have to check your bags when you enter the palace and there is no photography allowed on the inside, which has been left just as it was when Dom Ferdinand took his family and fled on the eve of a revolution in 1910. The highlight for me was an alabaster altarpiece in the chapel carved by Nicolas Chanterene. The alabaster appears so delicate that it's almost like you're looking at a giant piece of white butter! Unbelievable!
I took this shot from the Moorish Castle that sits just below the palace on a lower slope of the Serra de Sintra. You cannot drive up to the palace, but there is a bus that costs 3.50 Euros for a roundtrip from the Old Quarter of Sintra-Vila (wish we would have known that!).
Upon the hill over looking Sintra is the Pena Palace. The view from the palace is awesome as you can see Lisbon, Cascais and Marfa which is most of the area.
The palace is very colorful and has many unique carvings that I think you will be impressed with.
You can either walk to the palace, take the bus or the horse and carrage to th top.
Check out the travelogue for pictures of the palace.