Sintra: Lisbon's Mystical Neighbor
Distinction and uniqueness are key elements of the natural and historical treasures that decorate and fill this place. Why? Because the mountain, the climate, the gastronomy and the history of this local are unrepeatable.
Sintra is a historical core that goes back 7000 years in time. This corner is the stage of the unforgettable Park of Regaleira and the impetuous Palace of Pena, without forgetting Cape Roca and Palace of Seteais. This village was once the tone for inumerous autors, including the well-known Eça de Queirós and Vergílio Ferreira, whose books Os Maias and Louvar Amar, respectively, enhanced the region’s view and magic.
A Delight to Our Eyes
Maybe the most enigmatic building of Sintra, Palace of Regaleira, commonly known as Park of Regaleira, dazzles anyone who visits it. Built between 1904 and 1910, it was once home of Viscondessa da Regaleira. After being acquired by António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, it was in the skilled hands of architect Luigi Manini who amplified its construction’s singularity.
Regaleira and the several elements that compose it confirm the presence of freemasonry and the occult in Portugal. From the Initiatic Well to the Chapel, there are several references to Romanticism, Alchemy, Templars and the Rosa-Cruz Movement. The legends that give life to the buildings’ walls come from portuguese esotericism and misticism.
You can now go to the enchanted Palace of Pena. With bright colours, high up in the mountain, you see a nature enhanced palace which is a romantic dream coming true. With Manueline and Moorish architecture, the structure itself is an attraction. However, and drawing on its potential, the palace offers a culture agenda that delights its visitors with expositions, shows and various activities.
There were many historical personalities who left its mark in this place, among these stand out D. Carlos, D. Amélia, D. Maria II and D. Fernando II. Upon request of the latter, it was built the Castello that in 1910 was transformed into a National Palace.
A Place With Seven And More Refinements
With a view over Moorish Castle and Palace of Pena, located between Sintra Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Palace of Seteais is an historical building nowadays used as a 5 star hotel and spa. Of all the construction it’s important to higlight the neoclassical style that combines 18th Century architecture and 21st Century luxury.
The magnificence of this local is present in its flowered gardens, symmetric facades and decorated walls.
Cape of the Sky and the Sea
Last but not least visit Cape Roca. Powerful and windy it is the most western point of Continental Europe, located in the edge of Sintra Mountain. Here you can observe the landscape and the Atlantic waves that blast in the rocks. Also here, birds take advantage and glide through the wind, allowing us to contemplate species such as herring gull, peregrin-falcon and corvo-marinho-de-crista. It is in Cape Roca where Luis de Camões catches sight of the place “where the land ends and the sea begins”.
You can’t forget this portuguese village’s flavours. The gastronomy primes for its diversity and tradition and allies taste to history and curiosity. In this portuguese paradise, you can find typical dishes that whet your appetite.
Carne de Porco à Mercês, Leitão de Negrais or Vitela à Sintrense delight meat lovers. Concerning fish dishes, delight yourself with Escaldada de Lapas, Mexilhões na Chapa or Açorda de Bacalhau. Finally, and if you have sweet tooth, you can’t leave Sintra without tasting the traditional Queijadas or the famous Travesseiros.