Posts Tagged ‘lisboa’

Pena Palace (Sintra.part II)

It’s difficult to show your own country to a foreigner. Among the thousands of cool places you think you know in your hometown you have to chose just 2 or 3 to show to your friend that came from England. Last week was downtown Lisbon, today it was Sintra, of course.

Of course because Sintra is especial. Especial for everybody, especial for those who like to eat, for those who like monuments, for nature and greenpeace freaks, for people interested in witchcraft (yes, Sintra is Also associated with that), for those who like tea or simply for those who just want to take a walk.

During summer time, or not, it’s always a pleasent place where you easily forget you’re just 20min away from the capital.

Anywho, nothing like experiecing it, so please, visit it! (Although I’m writing a different post for every monument in Sintra, (oh, by the way, this one is about the Pena Palace) they are all worth it. Visit them all!!)

Pena, or feather, Palace, as you wish, is the biggest palace in Sintra and was the first romantic Palace in Europe. The palace was built in 1836 by D. Fernando Coburgo-Gota (later king of Portugal), married to Queen Maria II.

As you can see by the pictures, its architecture is a true delight 🙂  a mix of: 1) neo-gothic, 2) neo-manueline, 3) islamic and 4) neo-renaissance. Oh, and it stands on rocks 😉

Cool huh?

2nd picture – oui, it’s a fancy window 😉 See more

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Monserrate Palace

…and I thought I knew every monument in Sintra…

guess what? This one was missing (yes, I will visit all the others soon, and yes, I will make posts about them soon too!), mainly because it is very well hidden into the forest. Or perhaps, just because I always thougth it wasn’t worth it of my visit, but hey!, I visited it today!

Sir Francis Cook was the owner of the Palace, back in 1863. The 2nd floor of the Palace is closed and there’s not much stuff to see inside but it’s totally worth it because of its unique architecture. Why? Well, because it looks like the Palace of a Maharaja and that is not usual, especially when you’re talking about a Palace located in Sintra – Portugal.

I know nothing about architecture but it looks very Indian/Maharaja/Sahara like to me!! I love it!

The gardens are also very beautiful and you can see there the first garden to be planted in Portugal 😉

Enjoy the pics

pics – 1st garden to show: the first garden in Portugal. See more

The city of the seven hills

Well, as you might have already noticed this is the city where I was born, 21 years ago. It’s difficult for me to write a post about Lisbon because there’s so many things and want you to see. ‘Hmmm’ – I thought, if I climb São Jorge’s Castle I can show everybody all those beautiful things so characteristic of Lisbon.

São Jorge’s Castle dates back to VI BC, probably occupied by Celtic and Iberian tribes. It was later occupied by other tribes until it was finally taken by the Moors. It was in 1147 that the castle was finally conquered by D. Afonso Henriques (the 1st king of Portugal)  in what is called The Siege of Lisbon. When Lisbon became the capital of Portugal, in 1255, the castle was taken by the King as the Royal Palace. From then on many famous play writers, navigators and all kinds of V.I.P’s (such as Vasco da Gama) stopped here to have some fun with the king and the ladiesss, I guess?

After the Great Earthquake in 1755 the Castle was severely damaged and from then on it started to decay. It still is decaying today. Bad government!

Interesting legends about the castle? It is said that Martim Moniz, a knight, sacrificed his own body preventing the castle gate from closing, allowing the army to enter the castle and tacking it for good! Bad Moors!

From the Tower of Ulysses (former Torre do Tombo (where the Nation Archive was)) you can have a 360º view of the city. Try to spot the most important places among the buildings: 1) Praça do Comércio, 2) Ruinas do Carmo, 3) Elevador de Santa Justa, 4) Ponte 25 de Abril and 5) Cristo Rei.

After that we went down the hill (very slippery floors people! G. knows it) looking for Lisbon Cathedral, also known as, Sé de Lisboa. It’s the oldest church in the city, survived many earthquakes and it’s a mix of architectonic styles. Good stuff if you’re into churches and stuff.

If you ever have the chance to visit Lisbon make sure you climb the hill on foot. There’s plenty of stuff to see on the way to the castle. No, trying to park in tiny tiny streets is not a good idea 🙂 .

Another great day with my friend G. and hopefully, many more to come. As for the rest of my holidays you know, I’ll be traveling around Portugal! 🙂

P.S – Note that the city was totally rebuilt after the earthquake by Marquês de Pombal, a visionary gentleman 🙂


 

Pictures (from top to bottom): castle, random, Christ statue (left) and 25 Abril bridge (right), Praça do Comércio, Santa Justa elevator (front) and Carmo ruins (behind), some boat, Lisbon Cathedral’s door, a window in the castle. See more