Friday, 13 May 2016

Lisbon Chronicles | Palace of Pena (Sintra)

Via Parques de Sintra

It is impossible not to feel the magic and the allure of Sintra and, if you are visiting Lisbon is imperative to go there and visit the Pena Palace. The composer Richard Strauss said about  the Palace of Pena that “erected on a rock, it seems out of a fairy tale,” and fantastic as it may seem, nothing is more true.

Either shining in the sun or  arising between the mist it resembles more like an opera scenario or a glimpse of a magical  and lost world than a vision of reality. And yet, is there and worth a long visit.

Via Parques de Sintra

The Palace of Pena was built in the mid-nineteenth century, at the highest point of the Sintra hills, where is surrounded by a magnificent landscape of lush trees. Fruit of the creative genius of Ferdinand II, constitutes the epitome of Romanticism of the nineteenth century in Portugal, with architectural references to Manueline and Moorish influence.

The dramatic scenery and the mixture of styles and color, contribute to the fantastic character of the site and the fascination that this has  always had on its visitors.

via Fugas - Público

The interiors of the palace, designed to be a summer residence of the royal family, have been the subject of permanent restorations and reveal the great concern with the intimacy and comfort that marked the romantic architecture of the nineteenth century.

The beautiful stucco, have been recently restored and can be seen in all its splendor in various alcoves and rooms, especially in the Grand Hall whose restoration work took about three years.

It is also possible to visit the main kitchen of the Palace, where banquets were prepared, and where the stoves, copper utensils and the patina of the wood, transport us to other times.

Via Fugas - Público

Via Fugas - Público

Ferdinand promoted also the construction of the Park in the surrounding areas of the Palace. With a clear romantic inspiration, the Park is traversed by winding paths, punctuated by small pavilions and stone benches where we can refresh and rest.

All the park is populated by trees and other plants from the four corners of the world, which makes some exotic addition to this wonderful garden. Various activities can be undertaken in the Park,  from footpaths, to riding a horse and carriage. Last summer I did the carriage ride and I highly recommend.

To prepare your trip you can visit the site of Sintra Parks which will have all the relevant information. Starting from Sintra, you can go to Pena on foot, take a bus or hiring a carriage.

The National Palace of Pena, in Sintra has recently been considered by the European Best Destinations for Best Castle Europe, heading a list were you can find Neuschwanstein and the Alcázar of Segovia.

Tickets and Schedule - Palace + Park

Adults (18 – 64 yrs) – 14 € | Youths (6 – 17 yrs) – 12,50 € | Seniors (over 65 yrs)  – 12,50 €

Park | 09:30 – 20:00, last ticket  19:00

Palace | 09:45 – 19:00, last ticket  18:15

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