Sunday, 24 July 2016 – Day 39 – Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

Sunday, 24 July 2016 – Day 39 – Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

I woke up with a start at 8.45 and quickly dressed and five minutes later Mark arrived. We went and picked up Terri and drove on A16 to Sintra. Lots of pines and eucalypts and after we left the highway it was down narrow alleys. We arrived at the Palacio de Pena. Mark went and parked the car and then we had a coffee at the Palacio Cafe before boarding a bus that took us through the beautiful Pena Park up to the Palacio de Pena perched high on the second highest peak of the Sintra hills.

The Palace of Pena and the park were envisaged and devised by King Ferdinand II. His concept radically transformed the landscape of Sintra and was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. In 1838, King Ferdinand II bought the former Monastery of Our Lady of Pena using his own funds. The first period during which the Palace of Pena was used as a residence by the Portuguese royal family lasted more than 50 years, from King Ferdinant II’s acquisition of the former Monastery of Pena and its transformation into a Palace in 1838 to the time when the king’s widow, the Countess of Edla, (his 2nd wife)  transferred ownership to the Portuguese State in 1890.

The second phase of the Portuguese royal family’s occupation of Pena was dominated by the present in the palace of King Carlos I and Queen Consort Amelia of Orleans who lived there for part of the summer season each year. King Carlos I was assassinated on 1 February 1908. Queen Amelia was at the Palace when she received the abrupt news of the Proclamation of the Republic on 5 October 1910. She left Pena and in 1945 received an invitation from the dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar to visit her beloved Palace. This visit marked the final chapter in the history of the Palace of Pena’s links to the former Portuguese monarchy.

We started our walk in the grounds of the Palace and went into many rooms, including the Cloister, dining room, chapel, Queen Amelia’s apartments, the Great Hall, King Manuel’s apartments and Stag Room. We went through the Arch of the Triton – magnificent architecture – and passed the Tunnel of the Triton, one of the most decorative spaces in the whole Palace of Pena, skilfully imitating all the exuberance typical of Moorish art.  The Courtyard of Arches gave us wonderful views of the Moorish Castle and views to the west and over the ocean.


Mark and Me at Pena Palace


Looking towards the Moorish Castle

There was so much to see and one cannot describe all that we saw. It was just so impressive. A magnificent Palace.

It was time to get a bus to take us down the hill passing through the park with its waterfalls and fountains and magnificent gardens. What a beautiful place to have lived.

We were in the car again and headed to one of Mark’s and Terri’s favourite restaurants in Sintra – Cafe de Natalia – a family run restaurant.  The service was great and so was my meal of squid, salad and coffee.

After leaving Sintra, we drove home via the beautiful coast.

We had a rest and went up to the Cascais shopping centre as tried to get a cord for my phone but unsuccessful. I then bought a Samsung Tablet as my IPad was useless now. We had a reasonable walk along the Paredao (big wall – boardwalk) to the Escotilha Bar where we had drinks. Terri and I had a Sangria.

Terri and me having a Sangria

Terri and me having a Sangria

It was then back to to my accommodation at Estorial Sao Joao and I had a very late night – 2.00am. having a play on my new tablet.

It was another packed filled day – visiting the Pena Palace was just amazing and then the drive home was very picturesque. Another big thankyou to Terri and Mark for making my stay in Cascais very memorable.



Speak Your Mind