A Sintra tour is one of the best choices if you are based in Lisbon and want to explore the region. With unique protected landscapes , palaces and monuments with centuries of tradition ,it is the perfect place to see centuries of History and culture in just one day.
Here we can visit the castelo dos Mouros (Moors Castle) , an impressive nine century construction that represents the height of the Muslim occupation in Europe.
This castle is a fortress taken over by Afonso Henriques, 1st King of Portugal, in the twelfth century and that has witnessed many battles and drama across the centuries.
Resting on top of the mountain that marks Sintra´s landscape we have the Palace of Pena , a place built in 1847 by D. Fernando II of Bavaria ( The Portuguese Queen husband) and that is considered the epitome of Romanticism in Portugal.
Pena palace and its surrounding park is a must see when visiting Sintra
From the palace unique views can be enjoyed as well as the building architecture that brings together Gothic, oriental and medieval elements. This approach gave a unique combination that made this place the main holiday residence of the Portuguese monarchy.
Its design has been inspired by existing palaces along the Rhine in Prussia ( German territory),including a big 500 Acres park that surrounds the area. With more than 500 botanical species from all over the world and that has inspired artists such as the German composer Richard Strauss or the English poet Lord Byron.
German composer Richard Strauss during a Sintra tour best described the palace and the park: “This is the real garden of Klingsor – and up there is the castle of the Holy Grail.”
Another hidden gem in Sintra is Quinta da Regaleira, a mysterious and mystic complex built between 1904 and 1910 by a wealthy merchant that wanted to create something unique.
The chapel, the palace and gardens of this private luxurious estate are deeply marked by metaphysical and supernatural symbols that populate every corner of this place , inspired by ancient masonry, religion and science.
The Palácio de Monserrate is a nineteenth century palace with a unique combination of Gothic, Hindu and Arab elements that is also a treasure to be found in Sintra. On the outside you can enjoy a real-time botanic journey watching tree species that were brought and planted there from many continents.
Monserrate palace with its gorgeous design and multicultural elements
All this history and uniqueness led the United Nations to award Sintra in 1995 with the World heritage distinction.
For all of this and more a Sintra Tour is definitely worth it
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