In this article, you will get to know about...
Sintra is a Portuguese village, part of the Greater Lisbon district. Sintra, known as the capital of romanticism in Portugal, is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the world. It is known for being a real fairy tale, where it is possible to travel back in time without leaving the 21st century. Even nowadays, you can go for a horse ride, take a coach through the Sintra mountains, to the Pena Palace, the Monserrate Palace or the Castelo dos Mouros. If you close your eyes, you can visualize and travel to the 19th century and breathe in the atmosphere of those times when walking along the roads surrounded by trees and plants, which provides an atmosphere of peace unique in the world. The streets of Sintra have an appearance of the old, with the paved stone floor, the architecture of traditional houses, and the life of local people and tourists who stroll and comment on the beauty of the details observed.
Geographical situation and climate of Sintra
The village of Sintra is located in a valley in the Serra de Sintra with a microclimate similar to the subtropical climate of the Csb type according to Köppen and Geiger. The village of Sintra is situated at an altitude of 175 meters, reaching a maximum altitude of 529 meters, at a distance of less than thirty minutes by car from Lisbon. Sintra is a small town, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, known for the great number of monuments and palaces, for the simple and hospitable people, for the traditional sweets made up of Pillows, Queijadas and Fof de Belas, for the beaches, for the luxuriant nature and for 360º panoramic views from Lisbon to the Atlantic Ocean. The historic center of Sintra features low-rise architecture with Germanic-style roofs, winding and narrow streets built along the foothills of the Serra de Sintra and a central square where the National Palace of the Village is located. Around the town of Sintra, there are farms, palaces, centuries-old trees, lush gardens, the trails of the Volta do Duche that connect the Castelo dos Mouros and the town of Sintra, monuments classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, namely the Palácio da Pena, the Castelo dos Mouros, Quinta da Regaleira, Monserrate Palace, the Chalet of Condessa d’Edla and the Convent of Capuchos that transform the village of Sintra into the capital of Romanticism in Portugal. The Serra de Sintra was reforested in Parque da Pena by King-Consort Dom Fernando II with approximately 150 species of plants imported from various parts of the world, especially from Brazil, Mexico, Japan or New Zealand.
What to do in Sintra
Sintra is a spectacular village to visit, discover and experience the atmosphere of a village chosen by kings and queens, princes, princesses and noble families from the most varied countries in the world. Passing through Sintra is sure to enjoy pleasant days with a peaceful environment full of historical attractions, nature, architecture, gastronomy, culture, social life and landscapes to enjoy. In this article about Sintra we will show you what Sintra has, good and very good to do with your visiting time:
- Horse-drawn carriage ride: horse-drawn carriage rides are a trip in the fairytale village, with several routes to enjoy. The pass of the Parque da Pena is a circuit that includes passage through the Vale dos Lagos, Chalet of Condessa d’Edla, Quinta da Pena and Jardim da Condessa d’Edla. The Cart rides are more regular between May 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019.
- Tourist Train: the tour on the Tourist Train of Sintra allows you to observe various places, especially, the Volta do Duche, Paços do Concelho, Palácio Valenças, the village of São Pedro, Quinta da Regaleira , the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle. It is a train with several stops along the village. The Sintra tourist train tour is a guided tour and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
- Tram of Sintra: Tram of Sintra is a tourist transport from Sintra, connecting Sintra to Praia das Maçãs for approximately 45 minutes over 13 kilometers, with stops at Montes Santos, Ribeira de Sintra, Galamares, Necklaces, Banzão, Pinhal and Praia das Maçãs. The tram was opened in 1904 with the purpose of connecting the village of Sintra to Praia das Maçãs, having arrived in Azenhas do Mar in 1930
The Attractions of Sintra (top 10)
1. Pena Palace ![(38.787598, -9.390620)]: Pena Palace is the Portuguese ex-libris of Romanticism, built in Neo Gothic, Neo Arabic, Neo Manueline and Neo styles Oriental and inspired by the Castles of Louis II of Bavaria and the spirit of Wagner. Located on the top of a rugged rock, at an altitude of approximately 500 meters. The Palácio da Pena has been part of the Network of European Royal Residences since 2013, it was built from the Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena, and it is possible to distinguish three structures:
Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena – The Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena was inaugurated in 1511 with a project by Diogo de Botaica (1460-1528) at the request of Dom Manuel I (1469-1521) to house eighteen monks of the Order of São Jerónimo, former headquarters at Quinta da Penha Longa. The main highlights of the Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena are:
- Altarpiece by Nicolau de Chanterene (1470-1551)
- Tile panel offered by Philip II (1527-1598) in 1619
Palácio da Pena: The Palácio da Pena, located in Monte da Pena, was built between 1839 and 1852 at the wish of King Dom Fernando II (1816-1885), with a project by designed by the Baron of Eschwege (1777-1855) to be the summer residence of Dom Fernando II. The main highlights are:
- Surrounding walls with two doors and a drawbridge
- Pátio dos Arcos: located in front of the Chapel
- Arco dos Lagartos: Arco dos Lagartos is a triumphal arch in oriental style inspired by the Gate of Justice of the Alcazar of Alhambra in Granada. At the top of the door are three open roses, carved in the stone, which symbolize knowledge, two columns with daisies and mistletoes, the Druids plant
- Monumental Gate: This gate was designed by Dom Fernando, representing various motifs linked to Lisbon, the capital of the Empire and built in three styles: Renaissance, Manueline and Medieval. The gate was inspired by the following buildings: the Cunhal das Bolas Palace in Bairro Alto, the Casa dos Bicos in Campo das Cebolas and the Belém Tower in Belém. In the upper part of the gate are represented five merlons in which the middle with the Cross of Christ covered in animal skins
- Pórtico do Tritão: Pórtico do Tritão was designed by Dom Fernando and inspired by a window that exists in the Convento de Cristo in Tomar. The portico is also called the allegorical portico of the creation of the world, featuring four archivolts in Neo Gothic style, framed by Manueline corals. The Triton is a mythological being, half man and half fish, who is closely associated with the time of the Portuguese expansion. The representation of the Triton was inspired by the bust that supports the window of the Sacristy of the Convent of Christ in Tomar
- Porta da Origin: The Porta da Origin features a Manueline style window, inspired by the Manueline window of the Convento de Cristo de Tomar. Below the window is the coat of arms of Dona Maria and Dom Fernando II and at the top a sphere with the Cross of the Order of Christ flanked by two armillary spheres
- Torre do Relógio: the Torre do Relógio was inspired by the Torre de Belém
- Entrance to the Palace: the bust of Dom Fernando II stands out
- Cloister of the Nossa Senhora da Pena Monastery: was reconstructed by Dom Fernando II in Spanish-Arab style, being used as an exhibition room. In the center of the cloister, the fountain supported by three turtles stands out, whose four legs represent the four elements. Turtles support the carapace, symbol of the Cosmos, and lean on the ages that represent eternity
- Dom Carlos I’s bedroom: the main highlight of Dom Carlos I’s bedroom is the empire-style furniture, namely the bed, bedside table, chaise longue and a mirror. In the bathroom there is the first water-closet in Portugal and a hot and cold shower
- Atelier do Rei Dom Carlos I: Atelier de Dom Carlos I was the place where the Portuguese king got distracted, especially when painting. The paint boxes, brushes and seven unfinished canvases stand out
- Chapel: This division was one of the monks’ cells in the old monastery, having been reused by Dom Fernando II to make a chapel. The main points of interest are the Retable of the chancel by Nicolau de Chanterenne, an offer by Dom João III to the wife Dona Leonor, and the four Stained Glass with the following representations:
- First Stained Glass: Armillary sphere and the Cross of Christ, the flags with the arms of Portugal and Saxe-Coburg-Gota
- Second Stained Glass: Image of Nossa Senhora da Pena with Jesus in her arms
- Third Stained Glass: image of São Jorge
- Fourth stained glass: image representing Dom Manuel I holding the Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena, Vasco da Gama overlooking the Belém Tower and a caravel
- Queen’s Room: highlighting the stucco walls and gold leaf in Moorish style, and the bed, the counter and the buffet built in pau-santo
- Dining Room: highlight for the table service used by the Royal Family, caravel-shaped centerpiece supported by Neptuno and the Nymphs to honor the Portuguese Expansion and the ceilings with representations of the coats of arms of Portugal, coats of arms of the Order of Christ and the Armillary Sphere
- Sala de Saxe: the room features the collection of Saxe Porcelain of King Dom Fernando II
- Queen’s Office: the office features some interesting pieces of furniture, namely a desk, a Romantic chair and an oil study by the painter Cristino Silva
- Arab Room: the highlights are the walls covered in fresco, tempera and trompe l’oeil with the aim of giving a sense of monumentality to the room
- Terrace of the Queen: From this terrace it is possible to observe Monte do Gigante, where there is a bronze statue that represents a warrior who protects the Pena Palace and the Atlantic Ocean
- Sala Indiana: Sala Indiana is decorated with themes and furniture of Indian origin. The walls are covered with stucco in Moorish and Indian style. The ceiling is wooden and decorated with neo-Moorish motifs
- Salão Nobre: the noble hall was used as a reception room for visitors to the palace, with the main highlights being Indian-style furniture, the twelve upper rosettes representing the twelve houses of the Zodiac and the twelve gates of heavenly Jerusalem
- Sala dos Veados: Sala dos Veados also known as Sala dos Cavaleiros, was used as a dining room for the Royal Family, it stands out due to the exhibition of some stained glass that integrated the collection of King Dom Fernando II, to the Model of the Pena Palace and to the plaster deer heads with protruding rods. The center of the room is a column that represents the trunk of a tree.
- Cozinha Real: where you can see the equipment and utensils used during the daily life of the royal family.
2. Castelo dos Mouros: ![(38.792557, -9.389338)] Castelo dos Mouros is the oldest military structure in Sintra, having been built in the 10th century during the Muslim occupation for the purpose to constitute an advanced defense of Lisbon. The castle occupies approximately an area of 12 thousand m2, presenting a wall 450 meters long. From here it is possible to observe the landscape as far as the Berlengas Islands on a clear day. The location was purposely chosen so that it was possible to warn Lisbon of the coming of the Vikings. There are records of various attempts by the Christian warriors to seize the castle, especially by Sigurd the Crusader (1103-1130), King of Norway in 1109 en route to Jerusalem. The castle had several support structures, namely a community oven, grain and legumes storage silos and houses. The Muslim quarter was completely destroyed in 1147 after the conquest of Lisbon, Santarém and Sintra by Dom Afonso Henriques. In 1154 the Castle and the village of Sintra were donated by Dom Afonso Henriques to Dom Gualdim Pais, Master of the Templars. Over the centuries, the Castelo dos Mouros lost its defensive function and the town of Sintra started to grow. In 1839 King Dom Fernando II bought and transformed Castelo dos Mouros into a castle-landscape, having been rehabilitated between 2008 and 2012. The main highlights of Castelo dos Mouros are:
- Stables of Castelo dos Mouros
- Islamic silos to store grain and legumes
- Islamic neighborhood with community oven
- Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim from the 12th century built on top of the destroyed Islamic neighborhood
- Medieval necropolis
- Great Cistern
- Door of Betrayal
3. Cabo da Roca: ![(38º 46′,99 N, 09º 29′,75 W)] o Cabo da Roca é o ponto mais ocidental da Europa, sendo também designado por Cabo da Ofiussa, Cabo da Serpente ou Promontório da Lua. O farol do Cabo da Roca foi construído no dia 1 de Fevereiro de 1758, tendo entrado em funções em 1772 e automatizado em 1990. O Farol do Cabo da Roca apresenta uma altura de 22 metros, tendo sido construído no topo de uma falésia com uma altitude de 165 metros, podendo ser observado até 48,1 km de distância no oceano. Os principais destaques são o Farol de datado de 1772, a vista sobre o Oceano Atlântico, a Praia da Ursa e o Guincho.
4. National Palace of Sintra: ![(38.797679, -9.390666)] the National Palace of Sintra was one of the palaces used for the holidays of the Royal Family, located in the center of Sintra. The National Palace of Sintra, also known as Paço Real or Palácio da Vila, has been built over the centuries, namely:
- 10th century: started to be the seat of the Muslim governor;
- Reign of Dom Dinis: recovery works were carried out due to the degradation of the palace, namely new royal rooms, a chapel and the prison room of Dom Afonso VI;
- Dom João I’s reign: Dom João I attributed the restoration of the palace to João Garcia de Toledo, who built several structures, namely the three arches of the main entrance facing the village with a view for the people, the construction of the Sala das Pegas, the Sala das Sereias, the Sala dos Árabes, the Sala dos Cisnes and the kitchen chimneys;
- Dom Manuel I’s reign: during this reign the Paço Real and the Sala dos Brasões were built.
The National Palace of the Village of Sintra was classified National Monument in 1910, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995 and became integrating the Network of European Royal Residences since 2013. The main points of interest are:
- Sala dos Cisnes: the current paintings are a 17th century restoration of the 15th century originals. The swans represent the Casa Real Inglesa in honor of Dona Filipa de Lencastre (1360-1414), wife of Dom João I. The Swan of the Casa Real Inglesa was associated with Lohengrin, one of the Knights of King Arthur’s Round Table
- Sala das Pegas: the main highlight is the ceiling painting that includes the allegory of the caught bird, known for stealing objects, a red rose associated with the English House of Queen Inês de Lencastre and the inscription Por Bem associated with King Dom João I
- appeals from Espírito Santo: in the chapel the Hispano-Moorish tiles panels on the walls stand out, unique in Portugal
- Sala dos Brasões: is the most important heraldic room in Europe. The ceiling painting is organized in five circles, o First circle – with the representation of the arms of King Dom Manuel I with the shield, crown and dragon of the Legend of King Arthur, the Second circle with representation of the medallions with the weapons of the eight children of the second marriage to Dona Maria de Aragão (1482-1517), daughter of the Catholic Kings of Spain, Fernando (1452-1516) and Isabel (1451-1504), the Third circle with representation of the medallions with the arms of the members of the Royal House, the Fourth circle with representation of the deer in medallions, and the Fifth circle with representation of 72 panels of the most important noble families of the time, and which supported King Dom Manuel I, namely the Noronhas, Coutinho, Castro, Ataíde, D’Eça, the Menezes, Castros of Penha Verde, Cunha, Sousa, Pereiras, Vasconcellos, Melo, Silvas, Albuquerque, Andrade, Almeida, Manoel, Febo Moniz, Lima, Távoras, Henriques, Mend jaguar, Albergaria, Almada, Azevedo, Castelo-Branco, Abreu, Brito, Moura, Lobo, Sá, Corte-Real, Lemos, Ribeiro, Cabral, Miranda, Tavares, Mascarenhas, Sampaio, Malafaia, Meira, Aboim, Carvalho, Mota, Costa, Pessanha, Pacheco, Sotomaior, Lobato, Teixeira, Valente, Serpa, Gama, Nogueira, Bethancourt, Góis, Pestana, Barreto, Coelho, Queirós, Ferreira, Siqueira, Cerqueira, Pimentel, Fois, Ark, Pinto, Gouveia, Faria, Vieira, Aguiar and Borges. The painting of the five circles was done with the aim of showing unity after the times of division of the Reign of Dom João II.
- Kitchen: the highlights of the kitchen are the two chimneys 33 meters high;
- Arab Room: was the oldest place in the palace, where the Arab official from Sintra met. The main highlight is a tank on the pavement that functioned as a refreshment spot. This tank was common in the palaces of the Islamic Empire.
5. Monserrate Palace and Park: ![(38.794154, -9.420646)] The Monserrate Palace is a palace known for its architecture and landscaping, located four kilometers from the historic center of Sintra. The name Monserrate appeared in 1540 due to the construction of a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat on the farm that belonged to the Mello e Castro family between 1600 and 1790, the year in which the Englishman Gerard de Visme leased the palace. The current Monserrate Palace is the result of several interventions by English citizens, namely Gerard de Visme, William Beckford and Francis Cook. Quinta de Monserrate was bought by Gerard de Visme in 1789, a wealthy English trader who lived in Lisbon, and was rented to several personalities, namely William Beckford until 1794, to Lord Byron. Francis Cook (1817-1901), bought the property in 1863 and rebuilt it with a project with a mixture of various styles, namely Gothic, Indian and Moorish, by the architect James Knowles. The main highlights of the Palace and Park of Monserrate are the Jardim do México, the Garden of South Africa, the Roseiral from Monserrate, to Hermitage of Monserrate, to Founder’s Chapel, to Sala da Música, o Torreão Sul, and the Library.
6. Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira: ![(38.796449, -9.396024)] The Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira is a space built with the objective of being the holiday home of a coffee entrepreneur, located on the edge of the historic center of Sintra. The property of Quinta da Regaleira was purchased by António Monteiro from Barões da Regaleira, who was inspired by the Palácio Nacional da Pena, at the Hotel Palace do Buçaco and the Portuguese Epic of Discoveries for the project carried out by Luigi Manini, with experience in the projects of the Hotel Palace do Buçaco and the National Theater of São Carlos in Lisbon. Luigi Manini was largely responsible for the gardens, the caves, the lakes, the initiatic well, the chapel, the sculptures and the palace. In the Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira it is possible to identify references to Greek mythology, Dante, Camões, the Order of Christ or the Order of the Rosa-Cruz. The Palácio da Regaleira is divided into four floors,
- Piso zero: also called Piso Nobre, stands out for the decoration of the rooms in the Manueline, Renaissance and Baroque styles;
- First Floor: are the places for the Monteiro family, namely the study room, the toy room and the Lusíada Room;
- Piso Segundo: with the octagonal room, built based on the Charola of Convento de Cristo in Tomar;
- Third Floor: with the neomedieval tower, António Monteiro’s office and the laboratory;
The Jardim da Regaleira has several highlights, namely
- Alea dos Deuses: is the lane that connects the Loggia dos Pisão and the Palácio da Regaleira. highlights are the nine statues of Greco-Roman gods: Fortune, Orpheus, Venus, Flora, Ceres, Pan, Dionysus, Vulcan and Hermes;
- Chapel: the chapel was built in Neo-Manueline style and stands out for the scenes of the Annunciation, of the Coronation of Mary [, ] of the Crosses of the Order of Christ, the Portuguese heiress of the Templar Order and a tunnel that connects to the palace through the crypt;
- Poço Iniciático: is an inverted tower of approximately 27 meters dug into the earth. The initiatic well features a spiral staircase that reproduces Dante’s Inferno and the relationship between Earth and Heaven.
7. Convento dos Capuchos: ![(38.784412, -9.438148)] the Convento dos Capuchos located in the Serra de Sintra was a very small convent and was built with the objective of being confused with the surrounding landscape and allowing a greater proximity of the eight monks who inhabited it with the nature of the Serra de Sintra. It received the name of Convento da Cortiça because cork was one of the few materials that adorned the building. The Capuchos Convent was inaugurated in 1560 at the request of Dom Álvaro de Castro, State Councilor to King Dom Sebastião. The convent received the designation of Convent of Santa Cruz da Serra de Sintra and was given to friars of the Order of São Francisco. The Capuchos Convent was abandoned in 1834, the year that decreed the end of monastic-religious orders in Portugal. The highlights of the Convento dos Capuchos are:
- Terreiro das Cruzes;
- Porch of the Fragas;
- Terreiro do Sino;
- Terreiro da Fonte;
- Chapel of the Passion of Christ;
- Door of Death;
- Casa das Águas;
- Penitence Cell;
- Superior Room;
- Chapter Room;
- Hermitage of the Lord in the Garden.
8. National Palace and Gardens of Queluz: ![(38.750773, -9.259061)] The National Palace of Queluz is one of the last buildings in Europe in Rococo style, located in Queluz. The National Palace of Queluz has played a number of roles throughout history, namely the Marqueses de Castelo Rodrigo country house, recreational farm during the Spanish occupation, leisure and holiday home of the Portuguese Royal Family, Official Residence of the Royal Family between 1794 and 1807 after the fire of the National Palace of Ajuda until the French Invasions, owned by the State in 1908, classified as a National Monument in 1910. The Royal Family, the Court and the Nobility used the Royal Palace of Queluz as a place of vacation and entertainment, what was called Real Quinta de Recreio, especially for parties, dances, serenades, shows of trapped fire, water games, boat trips on the Canal dos Azulejos, equestrian competitions and bullfights. The National Palace of Queluz had two phases of construction, namely between 1747 and 1784 with the participation of the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and the goldsmith and French architect Jean-Baptiste Robillon and the second phase of construction between 1784 and 1792 under the guidance of the architect and Sergeant Major Manuel Caetano de Sousa. The first construction phase included the construction of the Throne Room, the Private Accommodation Pavilion, the Lake of the Medals, the Staircase of the Lions or the Canal dos Azulejos.
The second phase of construction included the construction of the Ceremony Facade and the Dona Maria Pavilion. The highlights of the National Palace and Gardens of Queluz are:
- Sala do Trono: the Sala do Trono began to be built in 1768 and was completed in 1774 in Rococo Style. The Throne Room project is by Jean-Baptiste Robillion. The main function of this room was to hold parties organized by Dona Maria I and Dom Pedro III and some official ceremonies. The main highlights are the walls carved in gilt carving by the woodcarver Silvestre Faria Lobo, the games of light that come from outside and reflecting in the mirrors of the room, the paintings by João de Freitas Leitão representing the Faith, the Sun , Hope, War, Justice and Charity;
- Sala da Música: Sala da Música was built in 1759 and performed several functions, especially a party room, audience room and hand kisses, opera house and concerts of chamber music. The attractions of the Sala da Música are the columns painted to imitate marble and the gilded ceiling decoration by Silvestre Faria Lobo
- Ambassadors Room: the Ambassadors Room was part of Jean-Baptiste Robillion’s initial project. The main points of interest are the paintings by Bruno José do Vale and Francisco de Melo, the painting of the central panel by the Italian Giovanni Berardi representing Dom João V, Queen Dona Vitória and the children, the two canopies used for thrones
- Chapel: the project was designed by Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. The Chapel of the Royal Palace of Queluz was the site of several ceremonies, especially the Missa das Pedras when the materials arrived for the beginning of the works, the foot washing ceremony that usually took place at the Ajuda National Palace, Procession of Senhora do Cabo and the eight baptized children of Dom João VI and Dona Carlota Joaquina. The highlights are the dome of the chancel, the gilded work by Silvestre Faria Lobo, the altarpiece that with a painting by André Gonçalves representing the patron saint of Queluz Nossa Senhora da Conceição, the ceiling painting by the author Alexandrino de Carvalho with allusions to the Virgin;
- Equestrian Art Library Dom Diogo de Bragança: is the only library in Portugal exclusively dedicated to Equestrian Art open to the public. The library offers approximately 2000 publications, 294 books and leaflets from the 19th and 20th centuries, 800 European titles from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, 322 illustrated from the second half of the 20th century, 165 original prints and prints.
- Robillion Pavilion: the Robillion Pavilion was built with the objective of integrating the private rooms of the Royal Family. The project was designed by Jean-Baptiste Robillion and was used by Dom Pedro III, Dom João VI, Dona Carlota Joaquina, Dom Miguel and Dom Pedro IV.
- Mango corridor: was the place where the glass sleeves that protected the candles were kept. The Corridor of Mangas is also known as Corredor dos Azulejos due to the tile panels from two different periods: the first tiles of 1764 painted by Manuel da Costa Rosado to represent hunting scenes, and the second tiles of the year 1784 by Francisco. Jorge da Costa representing the various continents, the seasons and classical mythology, the faience vases from Real Fábrica do Rato and Fábrica Viúva Lamego, and some carts that were created with the aim of allowing movement in the gardens;
- Sala Don Quixote: In this room with a circular effect, the eight paintings with ornaments of gilded carving and paper paste with scenes from the life of Don Quixote La stand out Stain de Cervantes, the painting of the central canvas of the ceiling with an allegory dedicated to music. It was here that Dom Pedro IV died
Jardins de Queluz: the highlights of the Jardins de Queluz are the statues, the lakes, the fountains, the large dimensions, the vases, the busts.
The main points of interest of Jardins de Queluz are:
- Canal dos Azulejos: was the place where boat trips were organized. In the Canal dos Azulejos, the paintings of the Lago Grande tile panels by João Antunes and Manuel da Costa Rosado stand out. Lago Grande had two purposes, it was one of the decorative elements of the Jardins de Queluz and was the way found to take water from Ribeira do Jamor to the Jardins de Queluz in an approximate length of 115 meters. Lago Grande includes two lead sculptures that represent Bacchus, Ariadne, Venus and Adonis by the English lead sculptor John Cheere. The Canal dos Azulejos was called Lago Grande due to its size. The Canal dos Azulejos was restored during the Carlos Reign by Pereira Cão and Carlos Alberto Nunes;
- Jardim Botânico de Queluz: the Jardim Botânico de Queluz was built between 1769 and 1776 and consisted of 24 beds of various fruits and plants, especially the pineapple production, a rare and exotic in the 18th century. The Botanical Garden of Queluz was also known as Jardim das Estufas;
- Lago de Nereide: the highlight is the sculptural set by the Englishman John Cheere;
- Lake of Neptune: Lake of Neptune was designed by Jean-Baptiste Robillion in 1771 and features lead sculptures by John Cheere that represent Neptune, Achilles, the main attractions Spring, Summer, Autumn, Meleager, Atlanta, Vertumnus, Pomona, Mars and Minerva;
- Jardim Pênsil: Jardim Pênsil owes its name because it is located on an uneven terrain and a water reservoir. It stands out for the huge maze that constitutes the ex-libris of the palace;
- Garden of Malta: The Garden of Malta was built in 1754. The Garden of Malta received its name because Dom Pedro III served as Grand Master of the Order of Malta. The main attractions are the four lakes and the sculptures that represent Music, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
9. Palácio de Seteais: ![(38.796188, -9.398261)] The Palácio de Seteais is a luxury hotel housed in an 18th and 19th century palace, located on the Monserrate road just outside the historic center of Sintra. Close to the Palácio de Seteais you can visit places like the Quinta and Palácio da Regaleira or the Quinta do Relógio. The name Seteais is related to the Lenda dos Seteais, that according to the legend: “that after the conquest of Sintra in 1147, the Christian knight Dom Mendo de Paiva found a secret door to serve as an escape for some Muslims. Among the fugitives, there was a very beautiful Moorish accompanied by the maid, both of whom had been taken prisoner. As soon as she saw Dom Mendo de Paiva, the young Moor released her first sigh. seven sighs that a sorceress had thrown at her. The curse said that upon reaching the seventh breath in one day the young Moor would die. The knight did not believe it and continued on his way. having believed it was reason for sighing Once again, after learning of this curse, Don Mendo promised that he would take them to a quiet place. When he found the place, Don Mendo left for a few moments, but it was enough for a group of Muslims to attack the Moors and cut off the head of the maid. It was the sixth sigh. The seventh and final breath came when he saw the dagger of one of the Muslims. When Dom Mendo de Paiva returned to the place it was already late, as both were dead. Desolate with the situation, he decided to call Seteais to the place where the two Muslim women were killed. ”
The Palácio de Seteais was built at the behest of the Dutch consul Daniel Gildemeester (1714-1793) on a property provided by the Marquis of Pombal (1699-1782). After the death of the Dutch consul, the palace was sold to the Marquis of Marialva, who enlarged the palace with a “U” shaped design by the architect José da Costa e Silva (1747-1819). The Palácio de Seteais was purchased by the Tivoli chain in 1954, and was officially restored by Tivoli Palácio de Seteais Sintra Hotel in 2009 by the Ricardo Espírito Santo Foundation. The main highlights of the Palácio de Seteais are:
- Entrance arch: was inaugurated in 1802 and built to receive the visit of King Dom João VI and his wife Dona Carlota Joaquina. The triumphal arch was built in the Neoclassical Style
- Jardins de Seteais: The Jardins de Seteais are made up of labyrinthine shrubs, from where it is possible to observe the valley view.
10. Chalet of the Countess of Edla: ![(38.785235, -9.399112)]: The Chalet of the Countess of Edla is a small country house owned by the Countess of Edla , located in the western area of Parque da Pena. The Chalet of the Countess d ‘Edla was built between 1869 and 1875 by order of Dom Fernando II according to the model used in the chalets of the Alps. The Chalet of the Countess d ’Edla was a private space, built with the aim of recreating the landscape of Austria and Switzerland, origins of Dom Fernando and Countess d’Edla. The Chalet of Condessa d ‘Edla was designed by Condessa d’Edla, was abandoned until 2006, when it started to be restored, and reopened to the public in 2011. The main highlights of the Chalet of Condessa d ‘Edla are the cork decoration, the Countess d’Edla’s room, the rocks in the garden, plants imported from different parts of the world, such as the Himalayas, the United States of America, Northern Europe and the view over the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle
Other places to explore in Sintra
Parque da Pena: ![(38.789333, -9.392152)] the Parque da Pena is integrated in 200 hectares of the Serra de Sintra that include the Pena National Palace. The main highlights of the Parque da Pena are:
- Tree of Life: is the tree that is at the entrance to Parque da Pena and that reproduces the Tree of Eden, from the entrance to Paradise
- Fonte dos Passarinhos is a fountain in Arabic and oriental style decorated with tiles manufactured at Fábrica Roseira in Lisbon with an Arabic inscription with the text “The Sultan Dom Manuel built this blessed chapel in the name of Nossa Senhora da Pena in the year 1503 in commemoration of the safe return of Dom Vasco da Gama from the discovery of the lands and countries he found, this is the Cape of Good Hope, India and others “. Inside the fountain there were three figurines of birds that have now disappeared;
- Feteira da Rainha: is an area made up of several dozen tree ferns, walking paths, water springs and a cosmic oven widely used in alchemy;
- Greenhouses: with the objective of housing neophytes or new plants that are intended to cultivate the Parque da Pena;
- Temple of the Columns: a circular temple supported by twelve columns representing the twelve houses of the Zodiac, is protected by an oak, the Druid tree. The temple door is guarded by a gnome carved in the stone that represents the four elements:
- Chapel of Santo Amaro: according to the legend, Santo Amaro read so much that he walked over the water without realizing it. The Chapel of Santo Amaro is the last stop before the Castelo dos Mouros
Natural History Museum of Sintra: ![(38.798113, -9.389993)] The Natural History Museum of Sintra is a museum that preserves and disseminates the natural history of Sintra, located in the Historic Center of Sintra. The main points of interest are:
- More than ten thousand fossils;
- Collection of Trilobites;
- Meteorite collection, namely the Nantan Meteorite of China.
News Museum: ![(38.796438, -9.389937)] The News Museum is a museum dedicated to the dissemination of the most important news in the history of Humanity, located in the Historic Center of Sintra. The museum is housed in the building of the former Toy Museum and explains the history of media and honors the most important journalists in history.
Quinta do Relógio: ![(38.796292, -9.395318)] Quinta do Relógio is an 18th century farm located in the Serra de Sintra. The farm has had several owners throughout history, namely Dom Fernando Maria de Sousa Coutinho Castelo Branco and Meneses, the 15th Count of Redondo, the multimillionaire Metznar, the banker Thomas Horn, the slavista Manuel Pinto da Fonseca and the Swedish Christopher Berglund. Quinta do Relógio became known when it was bought by the slave trader Manuel Pinto da Fonseca, known as Conde de Monte Cristo, who made a fortune with the slave trade. Manuel Pinto da Fonseca delivered the project of the farm to the architect António Manuel da Fonseca Júnior. Quinta do Relógio was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The popular tradition of the inhabitants of Sintra says that it is haunted due to the blood of the slaves that was spilled during Manuel Pinto da Fonseca’s career
Parque da Liberdade: The Parque da Liberdade is a garden in the village of Sintra, located in the “Volta do Duche” at the entrance to the Historic Center of Sintra . Parque da Liberdade was opened in July 1937, having the following points of interest
- More than 60 different species of plants and trees
- Virtual Theater where it is possible to visit the virtual reproduction of commercial relations between Portugal and Japan during the 16th century
Sintra Myths and Legends Interactive Center: ![(38.690424, -9.335667)] The Sintra Myths and Legends Interactive Center is the most popular tourist area recent located in the village of Sintra. The center features three-dimensional films about the myths and legends of Sintra, organized into four sections:
- Core 1: the visit starts on the highest floor, the virtual equivalent to the top of the Serra de Sintra and is informed about the Creation of the Penhas, a Legend of the High Five with Equal Names and Different Nicknames of Sintra;
- Core 2: on this floor the History of Sintra is told;
- Core 3: here the Legend of the Tombs of the Two Brothers is explained, the Legend of the Seven Ais and the Legend of the Apparition of Our Lady
- Nucleus 4: on this floor is the simulation of the Quinta da Regaleira Initial Well and other unique three-dimensional experiences on the Serra de Sintra
Paleolithic / Chalcolithic settlement: This nucleus is an archaeological niche with traces of the Paleolithic, Chalcolithic and Final Neolithic, located at Rua das Padarias, in the old town of Sintra, with highlights for the more than 400 artifacts on site.
Points of interest that we found when visiting Sintra
Explore the village of Sintra on foot
Fonte da Sabuga: Fonte da Sabuga is one of the most important sources of Sintra due to the healing abilities of the water, located on the road that connects Sintra to Colares. The current fountain was rebuilt after the 1755 Earthquake, with the panel of white and blue tiles as the main highlight.
Miradouro da Cruz Alta: Miradouro da Cruz Alta is the highest point in the Serra de Sintra, located in the heart of Parque da Pena at 529 meters above sea level. The main highlight of the viewpoint is the view over the Pena Palace, the Castelo dos Mouros, the village of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean.
Palácio dos Ribafria: Palácio dos Ribafria is a 16th century palace located in the Varzea de Sintra. The palace was built in 1541 by Gaspar Gonçalves in Manueline style. The main highlights are:
- The needle;
Municipal Library of Sintra: The Municipal Library of Sintra is a public library, located at Rua Gomes de Amorim in Sintra. The Sintra Library is integrated in Casa Mantero, offering the following services:
- Reading in person;
- Braille nucleus;
- Local and Regional History Center;
- Collection of Camilo Castelo Branco;
- Collections of Vera Jane, Oliva Guerra, Ângelo Costa Cabral and Rodrigo Castro Pereira;
- Tea house.
Chapel of São Mamede de Janas: The Chapel of São Mamede de Janas is a 16th century chapel, located in Janas. Janas is a small village in the municipality of Sintra, located approximately one kilometer from the village of Azenhas do Mar. The chapel has the following attractions:
- Chapel with a circular plan dedicated to São Mamede, the holy protector of cattle;
- Bench running all around the chapel.
Cascata dos Pisão: Cascata dos Pisão is a small waterfall found on the road that connects Sintra to Quinta da Regaleira. There is the sound of falling water that causes a calming effect and the grove that surrounds it, creating a mystical environment.
Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval: The Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval is the main hall for shows and cultural activities in Sintra. The center was built in 1945 to open the Cine-Teatro Carlos Manuel with a project by Manuel Joaquim Norte Júnior. The building was abandoned after the fire in 1985, until it was inaugurated under the current name in 2001 in honor of Olga Cadaval (1900-1996), Marquesa de Cadaval and patrons of the arts in Lisbon and Sintra. The Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval presents the following highlights:
- Auditorium Jorge Sampaio: it is the largest auditorium in the cultural center, with capacity for a thousand seats;
- Auditorium Acácio Barreiros: it is the smallest auditorium in the cultural center.
Centro Interativo Sintra, Mitos e Lendas: The Centro Interactivo Sintra, Mitos e Lendas is the most recent tourist area in Sintra, located at Praça da República. This center presents myths and legends about Sintra in a multidemnional format. The attractions of the Interactive Center of Sintra are the following:
- Floor 1: Legends of the “Tombs of the two Brothers” and the “Seven Ays”;
- Floor -1: Entrance into a tunnel that simulates the Initial Well of Quinta da Regaleira.
Chalet Biester: Chalet Biester is a neo-Gothic building from the end of the 19th century, located on Estrada da Pena in the heart of the Serra de Sintra. The Chalet was built in 1890 with the aim of being the residence of Ernest Biester (1893-1964), businessman of the National Theater Dona Maria II, with a project by José Luís Monteiro, author of the Rossio Train Station and Parque Eduardo Seventh in Lisbon, and set designer Luigi Manini, director of the National Theater of São Carlos and author of the interior decoration of the Quinta da Regaleira Palace. The palace is currently a private residence, having become known because it was in this chalet that Roman Polansky filmed “The Ninth Door”, which featured actor Johnny Depp, due to the magnificence of the stained glass ordered from France, and due to the agreement with popular tradition, there are seven underground floors where a secret society met and because it is a place where there are three copies of a book written by the Devil.
Fonte Mourisca: Fonte Mourisca is a 1922 fountain built with the aim of replacing the Sintra City Hall Fountain, located in Volta do Duche, at the entrance to the Historic Center of Sintra . The font is a project by José da Fonseca, featuring the following highlights:
Mudéjar inspired tiles;
Facade with three horseshoe arches;
Fonte da Pipa: Fonte da Pipa is an 18th century fountain located in the Serra de Sintra. The Fonte da Pipa appears mentioned for the first time in the 14th century, being the current aspect after the 1755 Earthquake. The highlights are:
- Tiled panels representing Diana and Justice;
- Tiled panels representing pine forests.
Fonte da Mata Alva: Fonte da Mata Alva is a fountain from the 18th century, located at Rua Barbosa du Bocage. The fountain was refounded in 1875 by Francisco, Visconde de Monserrate, having been built in a semi-circle. The main points of interest are:
- Four panels of 16 tiles each painted in blue and yellow
- Tile panels representing a “maçarocas rug”, a tile technique widely used in the 18th century
Church of São Pedro de Penaferrim: The Church of São Pedro de Penaferrim is the main church of Sintra, located in São Pedro de Sintra. The current church was built after the 1755 Earthquake, however the primitive chapel was inaugurated in the 16th century at the request of Dom Álvaro de Castro. The main points of interest of the Church of São Pedro de Penaferrim are:
- Tile panels from the 18th century representing the life of São Pedro;
- 16th century Gothic sculpture depicting Saint Peter;
- 17th-century ivory-Portuguese Christ;
- Arms of Archbishop Dom Tomás de Almeida on the facade.
Igreja de Santa Maria: Igreja de Santa Maria is the church of one of the oldest parishes in the country, located in Arrabalde in Sintra. The original church was built in the 13th century with a project by Prior Martim Dade. The main highlights of the Church of Santa Maria are:
- Original Gothic portico that resisted the Earthquake;
- Baptismal font in Manueline style;
- Upholstered image from the 17th century representing Nossa Senhora da Conceição.
Parish Church of São Miguel: The Parish Church of São Miguel is a contemporary church of Santa Maria, located on the access ramp to Castelo dos Mouros. The church is currently disabled.
Church of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia: The Church of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia is a 16th century church, located in Largo do Pelourinho. The church was inaugurated in 1545, following the creation of the Misericórdia de Sintra by Queen Dona Catarina, wife of Dom João III. The main points of interest of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia are:
- Paintings representing “The Adoration of the Magi” and “The Resurrection of Christ” by Cristóvão Vaz;
- Altar-Mor with a figure representing Our Lady of Mercy.
Igreja de São Martinho: Igreja de São Martinho is an 18th century church, located in Praça da República. The primitive church was built in the Romanesque style in the 12th century, restored during Dom Dinis’ reign and rebuilt after 1755 due to the great destruction it suffered during the Earthquake. The main points of interest are:
- 16th century paintings representing the life of São Martinho de Dume
- Tombstone from 1334 in Gothic style by Margarida Fernandes
- Three tablets from the 16th century painted by Mestre de São Quintino representing “São Martinho and the Poor”, “São Pedro” and “Santo António”
Viewpoint of Adro da Igreja de São Martinho: Viewpoint of Adro da Igreja de São Martinho is a privileged viewpoint of the village and mountains of Sintra, located in the Church of São Martinho. The main highlight is the panoramic view that can be obtained over the Serra de Sintra, the Pena Palace and the Castelo dos Mouros
Miradouro da Correnteza: Miradouro da Correnteza is one of the most popular viewpoints in Sintra, located at Alameda dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra. The main highlight of the Miradouro da Correnteza is the view that can be obtained from the following places:
- Castle of the Moors;
- Vale da Raposa;
- Vila de Sintra;
- National Palace of Sintra;
- Atlantic Ocean.
Miradouro da Ferraria: Miradouro da Ferraria is the viewpoint indicated for enjoying the Historic Center of the Town of Sintra, located at Rua da Ferraria. From this viewpoint it is possible to observe the Historic Center of Sintra, the landscape of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean
Miradouro da Vigia: Miradouro da Vigia is a viewpoint of São Pedro de Sintra, located approximately two kilometers from the Historic Center of Sintra. The viewpoint allows you to observe the Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle and the São Gregório Castle
Jardim da Vigia: Jardim da Vigia is a garden and viewpoint, located at Rua Doutor Hermínio de Sousa. From this garden and viewpoint it is possible to observe the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle
MU.SA: Museum of the Arts of Sintra: The MU.SA (Museum of the Arts of Sintra) is a museum of contemporary art, located at Avenida Heliodoro Salgado. The museum is integrated into the old Casino building, close to the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center. The main highlights of MU.SA are:
- Municipal Art Collection: this collection includes exhibitions by Emília de Paula Campos (1884-1943), Dorita Castel-Branco (1936-1996);
- Collection of Figurative Art;
- Photography Collection.
Anjos Teixeira Museum: The Anjos Teixeira Museum is a museum dedicated to two sculptors, Artur Anjos Teixeira and Pedro Anjos Teixeira, located in Azinhaga de Sintra. The museum is integrated in a building that performed several functions, namely watermill, sawmill, deposit of municipal vehicles and museum since 1976. The main highlights of the Anjos Teixeira Museum are:
- Artur Anjos Teixeira’s collection;
- Collection by Pedro Anjos Teixeira.
Bonsai Museum: The Bonsai Museum is a museum dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of bonsai, located on Estrada de Chão de Meninos. The main highlights of the Bonsai Museum are:
- Bonsai Family Residence: offers the opportunity to experience an overnight stay at Bonsai Family Residence
- Murraya Tree: The Murraya Tree is over 100 years old, 1.60 meters high, having been imported from China
Ferreira de Castro Museum: The Ferreira de Castro Museum is a museum dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the work of the writer Ferreira de Castro (1896-1974), located at Rua Consiglieri Pedroso in Casal of Santo António. The main highlights of the Ferreira de Castro Museum are:
- Collection of Ferreira de Castro’s novels;
- Pictures and writing materials by Ferreira de Castro;
- Documentary collection accessible to the general public and researchers.
Klaus Ohnsmann Museum: The Klaus Ohnsmann Museum is dedicated to publicizing the work of the German painter Klaus Ohnsmann, located at Rua Costa do Castelo. The painter focused much of his career on representing Sintra. The main highlight is the representation of Sintra on the screens by Klaus Ohnsmann
Quinta da Amizade: Quinta da Amizade is one of the buildings we can visit in Sintra, located in the Serra de Sintra. Quinta da Amizade or Vila Sassetti was built in the late 19th century to be the residence of Vitor Carlos Sassetti, designed by Luigi Manini and inspired by the castles of Lombardy. Vitor Sassetti was a businessman born in Sintra and owner of Hotel Vitor. The main highlights of Quinta da Amizade are the insertion of the property in the Vila Sassetti Route, one of the most popular routes in Sintra. This route connects the Historic Center of Sintra to Castelo dos Mouros and Palácio da Pena. The route presents the following points of interest:
- Casa do Caseiro;
- Penedo da Amizade;
- Floresta de Loureiros;
- Cover two Bugs;
- Building with a great mix of materials, namely rustic stone and terrazzo;
- High-relief of the Sassetti family;
- Tiles from the 16th century.
Quinta da Penha Verde: Quinta da Penha Verde is a 16th century farm located on Estrada da Pena. Quinta da Penha Verde was built to be the residence of Dom João de Castro (1500-1548), Viceroy of India, with a project by Francisco de Holanda. The main highlights are:
- Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Monte;
- São Brás Chapel;
- Chapel of São Pedro;
- Chapel of São João Batista;
- Chapel of Santa Catarina.
Quinta do Saldanha: Quinta do Saldanha is owned by the Patriarchate of Lisbon, located Quinta do Saldanha is currently disabled, however it deserves a mention due to the history of the property, which belonged to Marshal Duque de Saldanha (1790-1876), one of the most important politicians and soldiers of the 19th century, grandson of the Marquis of Pombal.
Places to visit around Sintra
Colares: ![(38.807664, -9.443136)] Colares is a village known for its beach and wine, located approximately six kilometers from Sintra. Colares is located in a valley in the Serra de Sintra, where it is possible to observe the lush vegetation, the vineyards that produce Colares Wine, and the tram that connects to Sintra, Praia das Maçãs and Azenhas do Mar. Colares it was donated in 1385 to Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira due to the loyalty given to the Kingdom during the war with Spain from 1383 to 1385. From 1855 Colares became part of the municipality of Sintra as a parish council. The main points of attraction of the village of Colares are:
- Cabo da Roca;
- Beira-Mar Winery;
- Visconde de Salréu Winery;
- Adega Regional de Colares;
- Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peninha;
- Convent of Santa Ana da Ordem do Carmo;
- Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição;
- Parish Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção;
- White House;
- Dom Diniz Melo e Castro Palace;
- Quinta dos Freixes;
- Quinta Mazziotti;
- Quinta de Milides.
Azenhas do Mar:! (38.839400, -9.460648): Azenhas do Mar is a small town, located on a promontory over the Atlantic Ocean approximately 14 kilometers from Sintra. The name Azenhas do Mar comes from the existence of eleven watermills that were moved by sea or river water, and produced bread with the cereals produced nearby. The village of Azenhas dos Mar has approximately 800 inhabitants, integrating the parish of Colares. The main highlights of Azenhas do Mar are:
- Place of origin of the Colisco Ramisco do Vinho de Colares;
- Tram of Sintra;
- Natural swimming pool with salt water;
- São Lourenço Chapel.
- Azenhas do Mar beach
Leal da Câmara House-Museum: The Leal da Câmara House-Museum is a museum space responsible for the dissemination and preservation of the work of Mestre Leal da Câmara, located in Calçada da Rinchoa in Rio de Mouro. Mestre Leal da Câmara (1876-1948) was a painter and caricaturist who lived in the building where the current museum is located. The building performed several functions, namely the function of changing horses when the Marquis of Pombal moved between Quinta da Granja in Sintra and the Palácio de Oeiras, function of Field Hospital during the French Invasions and museum functions. The main points of interest of the House-Museum of Leal da Câmara are:
- Saloios Center of the Casa-Museu Leal da Câmara;
- Painting, caricature and drawing collections;
- Photographic and documentary archive;
- Tile panels.
Janas Ecoaldeia: Janas Ecoaldeia is “… a collective of people united with the objective of building a non-formal education center for sustainability…”, located in Quinta do Luzio in Janas. The Janas Ecoaldeia started in 2012 with the official launch of the project. The main highlights of the Ecoaldeia de Janas are:
- The Environmental Education Center where more than five thousand students pass every year;
- The Food Farming Residence;
- The Dolmen Association;
- The Nurseries of Janas;
- The Janas Pedagogical Apiary.
Azenhas do Mar Viewpoint: Azenhas do Mar Viewpoint is a viewpoint next to the Atlantic Ocean, located in Azenhas do Mar. The highlight is the beauty provided by the view over the village of Azenhas do Mar consists of white houses on the cliff, the natural pool of sea water with the continuation of the beach, and the strength of the Atlantic Ocean to hit the rocks. The situation of the viewpoint to the south provides a perfect angle for photography aficionados, making this place one of the places of choice for creating postcards about Portugal. Azenhas do Mar is also one of the places for watching the sunset that reflects on the sea and transforms the horizon with reddish tones …
São Miguel de Odrinhas Archaeological Museum: The São Miguel de Odrinhas Archaeological Museum is a museum that preserves and disseminates archeology collections since antiquity, located in São Miguel de Odrinhas. The museum was opened in 1999, with a project by Alberto Castro Nunes & António Maria Braga. The main points of interest of the Archaeological Museum of São Miguel de Odrinhas are:
- Exhibitions “O Livro de Pedra” and “O Claustro do Tempo”
- Roman Ruins of São Miguel de Odrinhas
- Café Museum
Museu do Ar: The Museu do Ar is an area where a set of museum spaces are responsible for “Collecting, studying, exhibiting and disseminating …”, located in Pêro Pinheiro . The Museu do Ar is connected to two other centers in Ovar and Alverca, with the following highlights:
- Main Hangar: in an approximate area of 3000 m2 with 42 aircraft
- TAP: Space dedicated to the Portuguese airline with around 700 m2, where simulators and aircraft are presented since the foundation in 1945;
- ANA: a 700 m2 room dedicated to observing the history of Airports and Air Navigation through various objects, namely the original model of Lisbon Airport and the furniture of the first Control Tower Air Traffic
- Historical Hangars: composed of three hangars, the first Hangar is composed of the multimedia auditorium and some civil aircraft, the second Hangar is dedicated to the Portuguese Colonial War and the third Hangar has on display two planes commonly used in training pilots.
- Sala dos Pioneiros: where we find the description of the first flights performed by Portuguese, the documentation and descriptions of the main air travels of the Portuguese around the world, namely the trips by Sacadura Cabral, Gago Coutinho , Sarmento de Beires, Brito Pais, Humberto da Cruz and Carlos Bleck
Quinta dos Pisão – Quinta dos Pisão is an abandoned farm located on the old Estrada de Colares. The Quinta dos Pisão was built in the 16th century, has some historical curiosities, namely the fact that it was the first house in Sintra to have central heating by boiler, and was the stage as one of the places of meeting of the planners of the attack on King Dom José I in 1758.
Walking routes in Sintra
- Small Route 1: Santa Maria – The Santa Maria Route is made over 1.9 kilometers, being easy to execute. The route starts in front of the National Palace of the Village, passes through the Fonte da Sabuga, the Church of Santa Maria and the Parque da Liberdade;
- Small Route 2 and 3: Pena e Mouros – The Pena e Mouros Route is carried out over 4.5 kilometers. The route starts in front of the National Palace of the Village, passing through the Praça da República, Fonte da Sabuga, Santa Maria Church, São Pedro de Penaferrim, Castelo dos Mouros, Palácio da Pena and Parque da Liberdade;
- Short Route 4: Seteais – The Seteais Route is made over 3.5 kilometers, making it a difficult route to execute. The Seteais Route starts in front of the National Palace of the Village and passes through the Clock Tower, São Martinho Church, Quinta da Regaleira, Hotel Palácio de Seteais, Rampa da Pena, Fonte da Pipa and Palácio de Seteais;
- Short Route 5: Quintas – The Quintas Route runs for 2.3 kilometers, starting in front of the National Palace of the Village. The Quintas Route passes through the most emblematic farms of Sintra, namely Quinta da Regaleira, Quinta do Relógio, Quinta do Castanheiro, Quinta dos Alfinetes, Quinta Dona Amélia and Quinta dos Castanheiras;
- Small Route 6: Rio da Mula – The Rio da Mula Route is made over 11.3 kilometers, starting at the Rio da Mula Dam. The Rio da Mula Route passes through the Capuchos Convent, Soldiers Memorial and Pedra Amarela;
- Small Route 7: Cabo da Roca – The Cabo da Roca Route is made over 13.2 kilometers, starting at Cabo da Roca. The Cabo da Roca Route passes through Ulgueira, Praia Adraga, Praia Grande do Rodízio, for the place where dinosaur footprints and Almoçageme are found;
- Small Route 8: Colares Wine – The Colares Wine Route is made over 15.5 kilometers, starting at Adega Regional de Colares. The Colares Wine Route passes through Pinhal da Nazaré, Ramisco Wine Vines, Fontanelas and Janas;
- Small Route 9: Rota das Aldeias – The Aldeias Route runs for 13.5 kilometers, starting at Adega Regional de Colares. The Rota das Aldeias passes through São João das Lampas, Roman Bridge, Assafora and Catribana;
- Small Route 10: Peninha – The Peninha Route is made over 5.9 kilometers, starting at Largo da Peninha. The Peninha Route passes through the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Peninha, Chapel of São Saturnino, Adrenunes and Pedras Irmãs;
- Short Route 11: Capuchos- The Capuchos Route is made over 4.9 kilometers, starting at the Capuchos Convent. The Capuchos Route passes through the Capuchos Convent, Soldiers Memorial, Tholos do Monge and Pedra Amarela;
- Long Route 11 Route: E9 – The GR11 Route runs over 29.7 kilometers, starting at Azoia. The GR11 Route runs in six hours, ending at Carvalhal, located approximately thirty minutes by car
The Sintra Conventual Sweets
Travesseiros de Sintra: Travesseiros de Sintra is one of the specialties of the village, a cake in the shape of a pillow made of thin puff pastry stuffed with egg and almond jam, manufactured at Casa Piriquita since 1862 and founded by Amaro dos Santos and Constância Gomes, known in the village of Sintra as Piriquita. Casa Piriquita started by making queijadas, the favorites of King Dom Carlos and Queen Dona Amélia, and the Pillows were created only in the 1940s by Constância Luísa Cunha, daughter of the founders. The pillow recipe is only known to the owner. Casa Piriquita has received several awards, namely at the Regional Exhibitions of Sintra in 1920, the registration of the brands Travesseiros da Piriquita and Pastéis de Cruz Alta in 1989 and the registration of Casa Piriquita by António Manuel Santos Cunha.
Queijadas de Sintra: Queijadas de Sintra are made with cheese or curd, eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon, the first of which were sold in 1756 in Ranholas at the producer Maria Sapa, the manufacturer oldest of queijadas in Volta do Duche, close to the historic center of Vila de Sintra. The best known cheese factories are:
- Casa do Preto
The Fofas de Belas*: The fofos de Belas are traditional sweets produced at the factory of the Belas dos Belas. The Fof de Belas are small soft sponge cakes, filled with egg cream and white sugar grains. The cakes are cute and with yellowish tones, which gives a unique look and taste. The Fofas de Belas were created by the mother of the current owner, Ms. Liberdade, for internal consumption, being initially called Fartos de Creme.
Wine in Sintra, Colares wine and the Colares Wine Region
Colares wine is part of the Colares Region, one of the oldest Demarcated Regions in Portugal. The Colares Demarcated Region includes the parishes of Colares, São Martinho and São João das Lampas, being the westernmost Demarcated Region in Europe and the smallest in the country. Wine started to be produced in the 13th century, having gained fame due to the following reasons:
- Weather resistance
- Approximately 80% of the vineyard is installed on sandy soil
- Vine was never affected by the phylloxera insect, which decimated wine production throughout Europe in the 19th century.
The Demarcated Region of Colares, demarcated in 1908, is organized based on the Adega Regional de Colares, which is considered the oldest in the country with its foundation in 1931. The most important varieties of Colares Wine are:
- Malvasia de Colares
- Ramisco de Colares
The main producers of Colares wine are:
- Adega Regional de Colares
- António Bernardino Paulo da Silva Winery
- Adega Viúva Gomes
- Casal de Santa Maria
Golf in Sintra
Sintra has four main fields, namely:
- Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort: – The Penha Longa Hotel & Golf Resort, located between Sintra and Cascais, is one of the most notable golf courses in Portugal, integrating the list of thirty best golf courses in Europe. The 27-hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and opened in 1992 with the “Atlantic Championship” course, consisting of eighteen holes and the “Monastery” course, consisting of nine holes. Campo da Penha Longa has hosted several important tournaments, namely Open Portugal 1994, Open Portugal 1995 and Open Portugal 2010. Some of the highlights of the Penha Longa golf course are the presence next to the “par 5” of an aqueduct of the Roman Period and the Monastery and Church of São Jerónimo da Penha Longa, a monastery dating from the 14th century that belonged to the Order of São Jerónimo
- Pestana Beloura Golf – The Pestana Beloura Golf Course, located between Sintra and Cascais, features eighteen holes spread over approximately 60 hectares, designed by the American architect Rocky Roquemore. The field was opened in 1993, presenting several points of interest:
- Forest with more than 40 thousand eucalyptus, pine and magnolia trees
- Several lakes and water courses
- View of the Serra de Sintra
- Existence of support infrastructures – Training Academy and Clubhouse
- Belas Clube de Campo – Belas Clube de Campo is a golf course located approximately fifteen minutes by car from Sintra, twenty minutes from Cascais and fifteen minutes from Lisbon Airport . The Belas Clube de Campo with eighteen holes, was designed by the American architect Rocky Roquemore. The main points of interest are:
- Luxury residential condominium
- View of Pena Palace and Castelo dos Mouros
- Support infrastructures – training academy, bike path, panoramic restaurant, clubhouse and a space for children
- Lisbon Sports Club – Lisbon Sports Club is a golf course located in Serra da Carregueira, approximately twenty kilometers from Lisbon. Lisbon Sports Club was created in 1922 as a cricket club for the British community residing in Lisbon. The golf course was designed by Hawtree & Sons and opened in 1992 with eighteen holes, being one of the few typically English clubs that exist in Portugal. Lisbon Sports Club has several points of interest, namely:
- Services and facilities – Club House, babysitting service during the weekend, golf school and free lessons for the children of club members
The beaches of Sintra
- Praia da Adraga: ![(N38º48’8.59 ”, W9º29’05.17)] Praia da Adraga is classified by The Sunday Times as one of the best European beaches. Adraga Beach has the following attractions:
- View over the Atlantic Ocean and the bank
- Bay shape of the sand
- Pedra de Alvidrar or Pedra do Juízo
- Grotto do Fojo
- Praia das Azenhas do Mar: ![(N38º50’25.18 ”, W9º27’42.36)] is a small beach, approximately thirty meters long. Praia das Azenhas do Mar has the following points of interest:
- Amphitheater shape
- Whitewashed houses and painted with a blue list
- Natural salt water pool
- Praia Grande: ![(N38º48’51.83 ”, W9º28’36.32)] Praia Grande is the largest beach on the coast of the municipality of Sintra, being very popular with surfers and bodyboard. In Praia Grande there are some championships of these activities, namely the Bodyboard World Championship. Praia Grande has the following points of interest:
- Regular European and world water sports competitions, namely surfing and bodyboarding;
- Existence of several restaurants where it is possible to taste the fish and seafood caught in the Atlantic Ocean;
- Six Dinosaur footprints approximately 170 million years old, located on the southern escarpment of the beach.
- Praia das Maçãs: ![(N38º49’32.03 ”, W9º28’09.64)] Praia das Maçãs is a beach located at the mouth of the Rio das Maçãs, thus formerly designated during the autumn season the sea carried a large amount of apples from the farms that existed there. The town started to be populated in the 19th century with the construction of three houses, namely by Padre de Colares Matias del Campo, by the author of the National Anthem of Portugal Alfredo Keil and by an inhabitant of Azenhas do Mar, Manuel Prego. The main highlights are:
- Alto da Vigia
- The village of Praia das Maçãs
- Tram of Sintra
- Praia do Magoito: ![(N38’51’53.37 ”, W9º26’55.91 ”)] Praia do Magoito, located in the village of Magoito is known several aspects, namely :
- Being one of the beaches with the most iodine in Europe
- Due to the large amount of rocks
- For the view over Cabo da Roca
- Praia Pequena: Praia Pequena, located near Praia Grande, is very popular due to being suitable for families
- Praia de São Julião: ![(N38º55’48.41 ”, W9º25’04.39)] Praia de São Julião, is the beach that is located further north in the municipality of Sintra. Praia de São Julião has a sand of approximately two kilometers, and is very popular for surfing and bodyboarding.
- Praia da Ursa: ![(N38º47’23.98 ”, W9º29’29.40)] Praia da Ursa, located near Cabo da Roca, stands out for its natural beauty and thin sand. The access to the beach is of some degree of difficulty, taking the descent approximately one hour. The current name is due to the presence of the Rocha de Ursa, which due to erosion has the shape of a bear with a cub on its lap
- Praia da Vigia: ![(N38º55’11.59 ”, W9º25’27.94)] Praia da Vigia, located south of São Julião, stands out due to the sand of approximately two kilometers and for being a naturist beach.
- Praia da Aguda
- Samara beach
History of Sintra
Sintra is a village that breathes history, nicknamed by the Greek historian Plutarco as the Serra da Lua. Sintra was occupied since the Neolithic period by several peoples, namely Celts, Romans and Muslims, being considered a magical and sacred place. The worship of the Moon was practiced in Sintra by the Celts whenever there were full moon nights. These rituals were specially performed in places close to Peninha. The Romans said that Sintra was the Sacred Mount or Mount of the Moon in honor of Cintia, meaning Goddess of the Moon. The name Sintra started to be associated with Cintia, the Moon Goddess of Rome, then Xintria, Zintira, Sentra and Xentra already in the 19th century.
The village of Sintra was conquered in 1109 by Count Dom Henrique for the first time, but it was not until 1147 that it was definitively conquered by Dom Afonso Henriques, in the same year as the conquest of Lisbon. Sintra received charter on January 9, 1154.
This locality was badly destroyed by the earthquake of November 1, 1755.
From the 18th century, the village of Sintra was promoted due to the presence of famous celebrities, namely William Burnett, William Beckford, Princess Carlota Joaquina, Gerard Devisme, Eça de Queiroz, Richard Strauss, Hans Christian Andersen, Robert Southey, Raúl Lino , Ferreira de Castro, Eduardo Viana, Milly Podez, Alfredo Keil, Ramalho Ortigão and many others.
The current landscape of Sintra was built and developed over the centuries, namely in the 19th century by King Dom Fernando II, who was known as the artist-king. Dom Fernando created a replica of the Neuschwanstein Castle that was built by Louis II of Bavaria. The end result was the magnificent and unique Pena Palace and everything that surrounds it. Since 1995, Sintra has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The village of Sintra had three main periods of development, namely :
- Centuries X to XV: Sintra was an important village during the Muslim occupation, having built the Castelo dos Mouros and part of the Palace Nacional de Sintra, being decisive until the conquest of Lisbon in 1147 by Dom Afonso Henriques. Until the 15th century, the National Palace of Sintra was a vacation spot for the Royal Family. Sintra lost importance until the 18th century due to several reasons, namely the Spanish occupation between 1580 and 1640 and the choice of other holiday palaces such as the National Palace of Mafra, the Palace of Pombal in Oeiras and the National Palace of Queluz;
- After the 18th century: Sintra became important again after the emergence of Romanticism, a European cultural movement that advocated a closer approach to Nature and a return to the past, namely to Rome and Greece. Romanticism in Portugal appeared in several areas, namely History and Literature with the emergence of important personalities such as Alexandre Herculano, Camilo Castelo Branco or Almeida Garrett. Sintra was also visited by foreign intellectuals, musicians, politicians and businessmen, namely Richard Strauss, William Beckford, Francis Cook, Baron of Eschwege, Lord Byron, Hans Christian Andersen, Robert Southey or António Monteiro;
- UNESCO World Heritage: Sintra gained a new vitality in the second half of the 20th century with the classification of World Heritage by UNESCO on the 6th of December 1995 and with the visit of more than three million tourists since 2017.
Sintra has a unique micro-climate on the doorstep of Lisbon, with a few days of glamorous fog, similar to that of England. Sintra was designated a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1995. From that moment on, the town grew and began to receive millions of tourists from all over the world.
Life in Sintra is peaceful, as we leave for the central square of Sintra, in front of the National Palace of Sintra, we can see groups of tourists of all nationalities and ages heading to Vila Velha de Sintra, where we can taste the famous local sweets “Travesseiros de Sintra” and shopping in the numerous traditional stores that exist there, go to the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira or the Castelo dos Mouros on foot, by bicycle, by bus, coach or tuck tuck .
Sintra is also nature, with gardens, flowers, forests and walking paths to explore in every corner. The sources of fresh water deserve special mention, as there are some sources from which it is possible to drink water from the source of the Serra de Sintra.
The town of Sintra is located approximately thirty kilometers from Lisbon, it is a quiet, safe place and with a great offer of hotels and restaurants. The beaches are also highly sought after by the people of Lisbon during the summer, not only for summer, but also for water sports, namely surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing. Sintra is a locality and a must-visit municipality with points of interest from the highest ranked in the world, Sintra is a great place to live and work.
Fairs, Parties and Pilgrimages
- Festivities of Divino Espírito Santos: are held annually in Colares seven weeks after Easter
- Feast of São Pedro de Penaferrim: are held every two weeks in São Pedro de Penaferrim on the second and fourth Sundays of each month
- Círio de Santa Rita de Cássia: pilgrimage that takes place annually between the towns of Eugaria and Mucifal in July
- Summer at Quinta da Ribafria: festival that takes place annually at Quinta da Ribafria between May and September
- Festivities in honor of São Mamede: are held annually in Janas in August
- Festivals of Nossa Senhora da Praia: are held annually at Praia das Maçãs on the first Sunday of September
- 18th Century Fair of Queluz: takes place annually in September at the National Palace of Queluz
Where to shop in Sintra
- Beloura Shopping
- Sintra Forum Shopping Center
- Almoçageme Market
- São Pedro de Sintra Market
- Vila Velha de Sintra
Transport to and from Sintra
- Trains: There are trains to Sintra that leave from Gare do Oriente and Rossio stations. The Queluz-Belas station is where you should go to visit the National Palace of Queluz and Matinha de Queluz. The train stations in the municipality of Sintra are:
- Queluz-Belas Station
- Monte Abraão Station
- Massamá-Barcarena Station
- Agualva-Cacém Station
- Rio de Mouro Station
- Mercês Station
- Algueirão Station
- Portela de Sintra Station
- Sintra Station
- Buses: There are buses for everyday and other tourist routes:
- Bus 434: makes the Pena Circuit, which includes the Historic Center, the Castelo dos Mouros and the Pena Palace. The bus departs from Sintra station and the historic town center.
- Bus 435: also called Villa Express Quatro Palácios, includes the following on the route: National Palace of Sintra, Palace of Regaleira, Palace of Seteais, Palace of Monserrate.
- Bus 441: also known as Três Praias, includes Praia Grande, Praia das Maçãs and Praia das Azenhas
- Tram of Sintra: traditional tram of Sintra that connects the village to Colares during the summer months. The journey, very quiet and pleasant, takes approximately 45 minutes.
Educational Institutions in Sintra
- Colégio Vasco da Gama
- Colégio dos Plátanos
- Conservatory of Music in Sintra
- Portuguese School of Equestrian Art
- Sintra Heritage Professional School
- Prime School International – Sintra
Health Services in Sintra
- Clínica CintraMédica – Portela de Sintra
- CUF Sintra
- Hospital Amadora-Sintra
Administrative Organization of Sintra
The municipality of Sintra is the second in the country with the most inhabitants, approximately 378 thousand. The municipality of Sintra is administratively organized in eleven parishes, namely:
- Algueirão-Mem Martins Parish Council
- Casal de Cambra Parish Council
- Colares Parish Council
- Rio de Mouro Parish Council
- Union of Parishes of Agualva and Mira Sintra
- Union of Parishes of Almargem do Bispo, Pêro Pinheiro and Montelavar
- Union of the Parishes of Cacém and São Marcos
- Union of Massamá and Monte Abraão Parishes
- Union of Parishes of Queluz and Belas
- Union of Parishes of São João das Lampas and Terrugem
- Union of Parishes of Sintra
Illustrious Figures from Sintra
Dom Fernando II: (1816-1885) Fernando Augusto was born in Vienna, Austria, to the Saxe-Coburg Gotha family on 29 October 1816 and died in Lisbon on 15 December 1885. Dom Fernando was the last consort king of Portugal and one of the founders of national Romanticism. Dom Fernando II married Dona Maria II in 1836 by proxy, which lasted until 1855, the year in which the Queen died during the birth of the eleventh child. Dom Fernando II remained as Regent of the Kingdom of Portugal until his son Dom Pedro came of age. Dom Fernando remarried in 1869 to the Countess d’Edla, having been very controversial due to the fact that the Countess d’Edla was an opera singer and a single mother. Dom Fernando II died in 1885 and was buried in the São Vicente de Fora Monastery in Lisbon, space of the Royal Pantheon of the Bragança Dynasty. Dom Fernando II had a unique role in the development and protection of the Portuguese heritage through several measures, namely:
- Creation of the Academy of Fine Arts
- Offer of scholarships to Portuguese artists such as Bordalo Pinheiro and Viana da Mota
- Restoration of several monuments: Batalha Monastery, Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, Lisbon Cathedral, Mafra Convent, Cristo Convent in Tomar and the Roman Temple in Évora;
Condessa d’Edla: (1836-1929) Named “Elise Hensler”, she was born in Switzerland on May 22, 1836 and died on May 21, 1929 in Lisbon. Elise Hensler emigrated at the age of twelve with her parents to Boston, United States of America, having started working at Scalla in Milan, where she stayed for three years. Elise Hensler arrived in Portugal in 1860 to sing at the Teatro Nacional de São João in Porto and at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, when she met Dom Fernando II, with whom she would marry and move permanently to Sintra. In Sintra, the couple moved away from Lisbon politics and dedicated themselves to the development of the Pena Palace and the construction of the Chalet of Condessa d’Edla. The Countess d’Edla received the Palácio da Pena, the Castelo dos Mouros and the Chalet of the Countess d’Edla, after the death of Dom Fernando in 1885. The Countess d ‘Edla died at the age of 91, being buried in the Cemitério dos Prazeres.
Al Baqr: A Muslim geographer who traveled throughout the Islamic Empire during the 10th century. He was the first geographer to leave written documentation about Sintra;
Baron of Eschwege: (1777-1855) Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege was born in Aue, near Eschwege in the province of Hesse-Kassel. Eschwege, completed his studies in mining engineering in the year 1800 at the University of Göttingen and in Marburg. The Baron of Eschwege came to Portugal in July 1803 to manage the iron ore mines of Foz do Alge, near Figueiró dos Vinhos and in 1807 he joined the Portuguese Army due to the Invasion of the Napoleonic Army of Portugal with the rank of artillery captain. Two years later, he traveled to Brazil with the aim of proceeding with the reactivation of the territory’s mining, and it was in this Portuguese colony that he gained notoriety as a member of the board of the Royal Cabinet of Mineralogy of Rio de Janeiro, professor at the Military Academy, installation of Fábrica do Prata “A Patriótica” and the improvement of the roads of the captaincies of Minas Gerais and Goiás. The Baron of Eschwege had returned to Germany in 1821, and returned to Portugal in 1839 to direct the works of the Pena National Palace, which constituted the last great work in Portugal. Following the collaboration at the palace, he returned to Brazil, however for a short time, having died on February 1, 1855, already in Germany;
William Beckford: (1760-1844) William Beckford was an English writer, collector and traveler who fell in love with Sintra. William Beckford was born in London to a wealthy aristocratic family and owner of several sugar plantations in Jamaica, having been accused by London society of sexual practices less appropriate for the time, which led him to travel to several European countries, namely France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Portugal. The most important works include the novel Vathek: An Arab Tale of 1786, the Diary of William Beckford in Portugal and Spain of 1835 and Alcobaça and Battle: Travel Memories. William Beckford has been to Portugal three times:
- 1787 – was in Lisbon
- 1793 and 1795 – stayed at Quinta e Palácio do Ramalhão in Sintra
- 1798 to 1799 – leased and did background works at the Monserrate Palace and Garden
Lord Byron: (1788-1824) George Gordon Noel was born on January 22, 1788 and died on April 19, 1824. Lord Byron was one of the greatest poets of the 19th century and one of the great figures of European Romanticism, having successfully performed several functions, namely deputy of the House of Lords, member of the London Committee of Independence of Greece, writer and intellectual. The main works were Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, written between 1812 and 1819 and where she writes about Sintra, The Corsair in 1814, The Siege of Corinth in 1816 and The Liberal in 1822
Francis Cook: (1817-1901) Sir Francis Cook was born on 23 January 1817 and died on 17 February 1901. Sir Francis Cook held England’s third largest fortune and had one of the largest art collections in the 19th century, having 510 major works of art in 1876. Francis Cook made a fortune in the textile industry and even had the company’s headquarters in central London at the Cook & Son Warehouse, having purchased Monserrate in 1863 Sir Francis Cook received several noble titles in Portugal and England, namely First Viscount of Monserrate, First Baronet in England, member of the London Antique Society
Luigi Manini: (1848-1936) the Italian set designer Luigi Manini was born on March 8, 1848 and died on June 29, 1936. Luigi Manini was born in a humble family, the which led him to work at the age of nine in Giovanni Zaffeva’s studio as an apprentice. Manini graduated in Ornamentation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Milan in 1861, having held several positions, namely as a set designer or architect-decorator in the construction of several important buildings in Europe, namely:
- Scala Theater in Milan
- São Carlos National Theater
- Palace and Quinta da Regaleira
- Dona Maria National Theater
- Palace Hotel do Buçaco
- House of Gardener-Biester
- Villa Sassetti
- Chalet Lima Mayer in Sintra
- Teatro Palácio de Foz
- Dona Amélia Theater
- São Luiz Theater
- São João do Porto Theater
- Lisbon Military Museum
- Museu Conde Castro Guimarães in Cascais.
António Monteiro (1848-1920) António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro was born on November 27, 1848 and died on October 24, 1920. António Monteiro was born in Rio de Janeiro, son of the Portuguese Frederico Augusto Mendes Monteiro and Ana Thereza Carolina de Carvalho. António Monteiro, became known as Monteiro dos Milhões due to the fortune he inherited from his parents and the deals he made with products like coffee. António Monteiro graduated in Law at the University of Coimbra in 1871 and married two years later with Perpétua Augusta Pereira de Melo (1852-1913). Monteiro dos Milhões was an avid collector and a patron of the arts, notably the collections of watches, butterflies, and the works of Luís Vaz de Camões. In the year 1876 he settled permanently in Portugal at the Quintela-Farrobo Palace on Rua do Alecrim in Lisbon. António Monteiro decided to build a holiday residence in Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira, and hire Luigi Manini to design it between 1898 and 1912. António Monteiro received the title of Moço Fidalgo da Casa Real given by Dom Luís I. António Carvalho Monteiro died in 1920 with a deep heartbreak due to the woman’s death a few years earlier;
Gerard de Visme (1725-1798) English of French origin who was the first English inhabitant in Monserrate. Gerard de Visme was born in England to a family of French Huguenots, that is, French Protestants. Gerald de Visme was born on February 22, 1725 and died on November 20, 1727. Not much is known about Gerard de Visme’s life, except that he lived in Portugal between 1746 and 1794 where he owned two farms: one in Lisbon, Quinta de São Domingos de Benfica, and another in Sintra, Quinta de Monserrate. Gerald de Visme was a member of the Brithish Factory in Lisbon, being involved in the construction of the English Hospital in Lisbon and held the position of Administrator of the Crown Jewels and Diamond Mines of Brazil. The main source of the fortune was the trade of brazilwood due to having achieved the monopoly of this commodity thanks to the friendship he had with the Marquis of Pombal.
Quotes about Sintra
- “Today is the happiest day of my life! I know Italy, Sicily, Greece and Egypt and I have never seen anything, nothing worthwhile! It is the most beautiful thing I have seen! This is the real garden of Klingsor and up there is the Holy Grail Castle “, Richard Strauss
- “True vignette of the Thousand and One Nights, a vision of fairy tales”, Hans Christian Andersen
- “Cintra’s Glorious Eden”, Lord Byron
- “In Sintra one does not die – one passes to the other side alive. Because death is impossible in the vigor of beauty. And the memory that passed is in it to collaborate”, Virgílio Ferreira
Curiosities of Sintra
- Sintra was the first European site registered by UNESCO as a cultural landscape in 1995
- The Pena National Palace was the first romantic palace in Europe, built thirty years ago from the well-known Schloss Neuschwanstein of Bavaria in Germany
- It was Dom Fernando II who introduced in Portugal the tradition of decorating a pine tree at Christmas and distributing gifts to children
- 1836 was the year when Dom Fernando married Dona Maria II and the birth of the Countess d’Edla, the future wife of the Artist King
- Dona Carlota Joaquina’s soul is said to wander the halls of the National Palace of Queluz at night
- The English neo-Gothic style was greatly influenced by the Monastery of Batalha
- Quinta de Monserrate was also owned by Tennessee Celeste Claflin, an American suffragette and sister of Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927), the first woman candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America
- Monserrate Park has more than three thousand exotic species
- Parque de Monserrate was the winner of the Jardins Europeus award in 2013
- Lord Byron and William Beckford lived in Sintra
- Dom Manuel I observed Nicolau Coelho’s ship, which was part of Vasco da Gama’s fleet heading for India, entering the Tagus River in 1503
- Colares wines are considered to be the most similar to Bordèus wines in Portugal
- American singer Madonna was interested in acquiring Quinta do Relógio in Sintra
Sintra quick facts
- The municipalities of Sintra, Oeiras, Amadora and the municipal company Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua created a protocol to create the Green and Blue Axis that aims to build corridors parallel to the Jamor River for the circulation of people, water between the Serra da Carregueira and Caxias over a 16 km stretch along the Jamor River
- The Municipality of Sintra has approximately 382 thousand inhabitants
- The Municipality of Sintra is divided into eleven parishes, namely Agualva and Mira Sintra, Algueirão-Mem Martins, Almargem do Bispo, Pêro Pinheiro and Montelavar, Cacém and São Marcos, Casal de Cambra, Colares, Massamá and Monte Abraão , Queluz and Belas, Rio de Mouro, São João das Lampas and Terrugem and Sintra
- The Municipality of Sintra received the Municipality of the Year award in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area in 2015
- The monuments of Sintra received approximately three million and two hundred thousand visitors in 2017
- The Palácio e Parque da Pena was the most visited with around one million seven hundred thousand visitors in 2017
[custom-related-posts title=”Visit other places near Sintra” none_text=”…in update” order_by=”title” order=”ASC”]
From Sintra to Cascais, we pass through the Serra de Sintra and enter another charming village. From Sintra to Lisbon, we left a village and entered a European city with all the services of a big city.
From Cascais to Lisbon, we travel along a Marginal Avenue facing the sea and river …