Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

(9604)
USD 21

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Description

Be awestruck by the breathtaking Pena Palace, an iconic Portuguese landmark that embodies the essence of 19th-century Romanticism. Perched atop a rocky outcrop, the palace reigns supreme as the second-highest point in the picturesque Sintra Hills, offering a dramatic and unforgettable experience.


Tucked away in the eastern part of the Park of Pena lies the majestic Palace of Pena, accessible via a steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege. This enchanting palace comprises two distinct wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the 19th-century wing built by King Ferdinand II. These two wings are encircled by a fantastical, fairy-tale-like structure that resembles an imaginary castle, replete with battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel, and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the long-abandoned Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was originally built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the hilltop above Sintra. The monastery, consisting of a cloister, outbuildings, a chapel, a sacristy, and a bell tower, formed the northern section of the Palace of Pena, affectionately known as the Old Palace. King Ferdinand embarked on a meticulous restoration project, renovating the entire upper floor, replacing the monks' cells with spacious rooms, and adorning them with the majestic vaulted ceilings that still stand today. Around 1843, the king decided to expand the palace, commissioning a new wing with even larger rooms, including the grandiose Great Hall, and a circular tower adjacent to the new kitchens, all under the direction of the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 restoration project revived the original colors of the Palace's exterior, with the former monastery donning a soft pink hue and the New Palace radiating a warm ochre tone. By transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showcased his romantic sensibilities, likely inspired by the majestic Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. The Palace of Pena's transformation was completed in the mid-1860s, although subsequent projects continued to refine the interior decorations. King Ferdinand also commissioned the Park of Pena, which was landscaped in the style of romantic gardens, replete with winding paths, pavilions, and strategically placed stone benches, as well as an astonishing array of trees and plants from around the world. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra,recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995.

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