The Palace of Pena (Portugal) is rightfully considered one of the oldest structures of European romanticism. It is located on a cliff top, near the town of Sintra. Thanks to this location, the palace is perfectly visible even from Lisbon.
What is remarkable about the castle?
This palace in Portugal is a unique monument that has survived since the Middle Ages. Today it is under the protection of UNESCO. Quite often the president of the country accepts guests. The Pena Palace is a former royal residence (summer). Created in the spirit of eclecticism, he harmoniously combined the Neogothic, Moorish styles with some elements of neo-renaissance.
There are different opinions about this structure: some people consider it to be the top of bad taste, a set of elements that can not be combined according to architectural canons, for someone this palace is a unique fairy tale. However, everyone regards this structure as unique, unparalleled in the world. Today, everyone can see the palace - tours to Portugal are offered by almost all travel agencies of our country. And those who are not going to soon on a trip, we will tell in this article about one of the main attractions of Portugal.
History of the palace
In ancient times on the hill there was a monastery of Hieronyms, which was built after the appearance of the Virgin Mary on this land. The devastating earthquake of 1775 completely destroyed the monastery, only the chapel of the Mother of God survived. In 1838 the young prince Ferdinand arrived in these places. He liked the beautiful countryside so much that he decided to buy land in the district and build a royal palace here.
To bring this idea to life, invited the German engineer-architect, Baron von Eschwege. Ferdinand II and his wife (Queen Maria II) took an active part in implementing the fantastic ideas of the project. The work lasted twelve years.
Not for long the castle was the residence of the kings of Portugal. After the death of Maria Ferdinand again married, now on Alice Hensler (opera singer). When he died, Pena's palace was inherited by his wife. King Louis decided to return the castle to the possession of the monarchs and bought it.
In 1910, after the Republican Revolution, Queen Amelia held the last night before her exile in the residence. Since then, the palace of Pena (Sintra) is the property of the state.
The National Palace of Pena is a magnificent example of the Portuguese Romanticism of the 19th century, which is a national monument. It should be noted that after the revolution the building never changed its appearance. That is why all the people who buy tours today in Portugal, have a unique opportunity to see this amazing structure in its original form.
The complex is conditionally divided into four parts. The first is the base, which includes the surrounding walls and a lifting bridge. The second is an ancient monastery, which was reconstructed together with the chapel. The third part is the yard in front of the chapel. The fourth is a bastion of cylindrical shape. Its interior is made in the cathedral style. Here visitors can see fragments of the first buildings (monastery dining room).
The best place to get acquainted with the general picture of the architecture of the palace is undoubtedly the terrace. Here are the guns and a sundial. The gun has an automatic device that operates a sundial. Every day at noon she shoots. The construction of the clock tower was completed in 1843. On the terrace there is a restaurant and a cafe, where tourists tired of walking can snack and taste fragrant coffee. It offers an amazing view of the entire architecture, which is famous for the palace of Pena.
Many tourists are attracted by the image of the newt, which is a symbol of allegory with the creation of the world. The palace is surrounded by more than 200 hectares of land covered with forests. Local residents claim that they have wild animals.
Equally beautiful is the park that surrounds such a structure as the Pena Palace (Portugal). At its design, King Ferdinand II ordered tree seedlings from around the world. This is how the North American sequoia, ginkgo from China, magnolia, Japanese Cryptomeria and a huge number of ferns from New Zealand and Australia appeared here.
The park is characterized by an interesting system of tunnels and narrow roads that connect all the exits from the park to the palace. One of them leads to the statue of a bronze knight, which is visible from the terrace of the palace. Who was the model for this work, it is unknown. When the mountain is covered with fog, the palace park, as if by magic, becomes a fairy forest. The refined taste of the king appears, which, apparently, was a romantic.
Today the amazing palace and park are the main sights of Sintra. After the palace became a museum, tourists from all over the world came here. Nowadays it is one of the most visited places in Portugal. Over time, the colors of the facade of the unique structure faded, and for a long time it was completely gray.
At the end of the 20th century, a major restoration transformed the palace. The original colors of the facade were restored. Now the palace of Pena sparkles with bright colors, which evokes the delight of visitors.
Tips for tourists
Those wishing to see this sights of Sintra are recommended to come here in the morning, since already at lunchtime there are usually a lot of tourists going to. In addition, in the first hour of work you can buy tickets with a small discount. It is more expedient to purchase a full ticket, which includes a visit to both the palace and the museum. In this case, you will not miss anything interesting.
Read carefully the park plan, or better take a free brochure. The park is very large, and if you yourself want to walk here, you can get lost. We recommend going to the palace by a longer road to enjoy the beauty of the place. It will open to you gradually in all its glory. In the park, except the palace, you can see other buildings, for example, the house of Countess Edla. To visit him, you need to buy a separate ticket. But do not rush it if you came with children. The road to it is not close, therefore it is better to transfer it to another day.
Reviews of tourists
The Palace of Pena does not leave anyone indifferent. A bright, unusual structure, located on a hill, is impressive. Different architectural styles, intertwined together, surprise and delight. Some travelers find the interior décor of the palace somewhat dull, but on the outside it is magnificent. Many are impressed by the visit to the terrace, which offers a stunning view. Children are delighted with a cannon that fires every day. Tourists often climb here by noon, so as not to miss a volley. Especially a lot of enthusiastic reviews visitors leave after visiting the beautiful park with a huge number of unusual plants.