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Palacio da Pena - Historical Building Sintra - Portugal

One of Europe’s most magnificent castle/palaces, The Palacio da Pena often draws comparisons with Germany’s Neuschwanstein, which it predates by about 30 years. Construction began in 1839 on the ruins of an Heironymite monastery on a rocky hilltop. To get the look he wanted, the King Consort Dom Fernando II of Saxe Coburg-Gotha brought in Baron von Eschwege, a German designer/architect, and the finished product owes as much to the castles of Bavaria as it does to traditional Iberian and Moorish art and design. The result is a stunning, visually overwhelming masterpiece of high towers, massive gates, tiled walls and gothic sculptures not found anywhere else.

The interior is a maze of lavish rooms and chambers, stunning tile mosaics, Victorian and Edwardian furnishings and tapestries, portraits and priceless ornaments such as vases, glassware, etc. The airy, tile-covered dome room is one of the most majestic chambers you’ll ever see. Many of the furnishings are original: when the Portuguese royal family fled into exile in 1910 there was not enough time to take much with them.

Outside, the gardens were specially designed to feature flora from every part of the Portuguese Empire, and incorporates woods, ponds and fountains full of graceful swans. Head up to “Cruz Alta” for a priceless view of the entire complex.

The Palacio da Pena is part of a World Heritage Site that encompasses all of the various Sintra monuments. In July, 2007, it was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal by the Portuguese, who voted on-line and via cel phone for a period of seven months.

Parque da Pena - Estrada da Pena,
Sintra, Portugal

Historical Building

Travel Tips: Plan on at least 2-3 hours to see the palace and gardens. Pay a bit extra for the little green bus to take you from the entrance to the palace: it'll save a long walk.

Price Description: General Admission: €7, discounts for youths, seniors and students.

Open Hours from:10:00

Open Hours to:5:30 (7:00 June to September)

Days Closed:Mondays

Contact Information:
Zip: 2710-609 Sintra

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
20 Sep 2007

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