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Sintra - the city of castles in Portugal


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Sintra - the city of castles in Portugal


Sintra is located 27 kilometers from the capital of Portugal - a city of castles, parks and special beauty of natural landscapes. This city may become a separate point on the route, or it may come across on the way to Cape Roca or the Sintra-Cascais National Park. In any case, the mild climate, the proximity of the ocean, the abundance of attractions and the rich history of the area will make you fall in love with Sintra once and for all.

What to visit?

Pena Palace

Pena Palace was erected in 1840 on the site of the collapse of the monastery, which was destroyed a century earlier due to a strong earthquake. Over time, the architectural complex began to perform the function of a royal residence, which means that the improvement work did not stop: a beautiful park was laid out, where exotic plants grow.

Sintra National Palace

In the XIV century, under Joan I, a palace was erected, later (under Manuel I ) rebuilt in the Moorish style. The walls of the palace are decorated with unique Seville tiles of the 15th - 16th centuries and carved wooden ceilings made in the Arabian style. Basically, the decoration is relatively modest. The palace became a national monument at the beginning of the 20th century.

Quinta de Rigaleira

Quinta de Rigaleira is one of the most visited palace complexes in Portugal, built in the neo-Gothic style. The owner of the complex is a millionaire, a member of the Monteiro Masonic lodge. The architecture and design of the palace and the palace ensemble were supposed to reflect his philosophical views. As a result, the complex is quite eclectic: styles, trends, fantasies and whims of an emotional man are mixed.

Well of Dedication

The well is located inside the Quinta de Rigaleira complex. This place is especially popular with tourists due to its unusual purpose: according to one of the versions, rituals of initiation into the Masonic lodge took place here. The entire well is a continuous collection of symbols:

  • It himself is a staircase that connects heaven (at the top - light, grace) and earth (below - darkness)
  • Ladder style - symbol of 10 circles of hell.

Castle of the moors

At the top of the Serra de Sintra is the VIII century castle of the Moors, surrounded by a picturesque landscape park. During the period when the castle was being built, the Iberian Peninsula was under the rule of the Arabs, until in the XII century it ceded to the Portuguese and began to perform a defensive function. In 1755, there was a powerful earthquake, which caused the destruction of the castle to ruins. Yes, in the 19th century, the castle of the Moors was restored, but the historical appearance was lost.

Montserrat Palace

The building, which is an unusual but harmonious intertwining of many architectural styles, is only a few centuries old. In the middle of the 19th century, it underwent a large-scale restoration sponsored by the English aristocrat, millionaire and industrialist F. Cook, after which in the middle of the 20th century it became the property of the state and became an attractive tourist attraction.

Capuchin monastery

The Capuchin abode is located in the Sintra-Cascais National Park. Having existed for only 3 centuries (from the 16th to the 19th - until the time of the dissolution of the monastic orders), the monastery gained great tourist popularity as a place where you can touch the time. Despite this, today we can say about its decline: the ruins are overgrown with moss and wild plants, only the facades remain from the once majestic buildings.

Chalet of the Countess of Edla

Eliza Hensler, Countess of Edla - second wife of King Fernand II, architect, botanist, actress, artist and singer. It was at her request that a chalet was built, hidden by lush vegetation in the midst of Pena Park. In 1999, there was a massive fire, during which the building was destroyed almost to the ground, until in 2011 it underwent restoration and became accessible again for visiting.

Sintra tram

From Sintra to Praia dash Masansh, a nine-kilometer tram route laid down in 1904. During his journey, it makes 8 stops. The Sintra tram consists of 11 retro tram cars. Now this type of transport is used as entertainment. Perhaps in the future, with sufficient funding (which is not currently available), the line will become a full-fledged transport artery of the city and will perform not only an entertainment, but also a more practical function.

Must-see museums in Sintra

  • Sintra Natural History Museum - All about planetary evolution, dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals
  • Museum of Art - repository of contemporary works of art
  • Myths and legends of Sintra - an interactive center where anyone can learn mystical details, myths and legends of the city
  • Anjush Teixera - the legacy of 2 sculptors: Pedro and Arthur Anjush Teixer
  • News Museum - an exhibition dedicated to the Portuguese media and media
  • The puppet's houses are both a workshop, a theater, a club, etc.
  • Air Museum - for those who want to learn everything about aeronautics in Portugal.

Markets and fairs

Portugal is famous for its flea markets and fairs. Sintra is no exception. Be sure to visit:

  • The Feira de São Pedro fair in Sintra, held since the 12th century. Here you can buy anything you want: antiques and vintage, traditional things and products, clothes, handmade, etc.
  • Coolares Market in Sintra - a modern space for lovers of vintage, gourmet and design
  • An antique shop Françoise Baudry, opened by a wealthy woman who is in love with Sintra
  • The Coisas da Terra designer shop is a place where you can buy exclusive household items (chandeliers, flower vases, decorative pillows and other interior items) or an unusual gift.

Sintra beaches

Kill two birds with one stone while walking on a historic tram - visit local beaches that few people know about:

  • Beach even Massage is one of the most popular among the locals
  • Azenyas do Mar. The distance between the beaches is 15-20 minutes, so you can visit first one, then the second. Clean sand, sea air, natural swimming pool, almost complete absence of tourists and a small number of local residents are the key to a successful holiday on the beaches of Sintra.
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