Travel Photos Home Page
Travel Photos...Spain and Portugal


To return to the Paintings section of this website, please CLICK HERE
I did a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. To beat the crowds, I arrived early in the morning as the sun was just peeping over the hills. SIntra is a Unesco heritage-listed town in the National Parkof Sintra-Cascais. It is a very hilly and forested region, so it is a favourite of hikers and nature lovers.

The building in the photo is the Municipal Building.

From the town, I caught my first glimpse of the Castle of the Moors, way up in the hill above. This photo gives us a good idea of the mountainous terrain in the Sintra-Cascais National Park.
A close up shot of the Castle of the Moors.
The building with the two conical towers is the Palace of Sintra, which had been the summer residence of the Portuguese Royal Family in days gone by.
There is a regular bus which takes tourists up to the main attractions of Sintra, way up in the hills, but as I arrived so early I decided to start walking and catch a bus later, on my way to the Pena National Palace.

The trouble was that whenever a bus came along, I wasn't near a proper bus stop, so I ended up walking all the way up to the Palace.

Great exercise and a beautiful climb up the mountain.

Town and Castle.
Along the way, I passed this building.
The Pena Palace is an exuberant example of 19th Century Romanticism. It was built upon the ruins of a medieval manastery that had been destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1755.

It was a German engineer called Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege who was given the commission to build this fairy-tale castle by King Ferdinand II, so it may remind us of some of the palaces in Bavaria and along the Rhine.

Ferdinand II took great interest in the design of the Palace, and insisted upon the inclusion of Medieval and Islamic elements. Over the years, the colours of the walls had faded, but, in the late 20th Century, the original colours were finally restored.
The Pena Palace has been a great tourist attraction for decades. It is something that people may either love or hate. It is so gorgeously kitsch, I love it!
This is a close up of the decoration above the passageway.

Wikipedia informs me that it is a depiction of a mythological triton, symbolising the allegory of the creation of the world.

This is a narrow walkway around the main tower of the Palace.
From that narrow walkway, we can look down upon the ruins of the Old Moorish Castle.

Ferdinand II wisely purchased the various mountains containing the Pena Palace and the Castle of the Moors, to preserve all these historical assets for posterity.

Looking down from the walkway, we can see the Islamic arch which serves as the entrance to the Palace.
The Palace grounds are extensive. They are hilly and well forested.
It was such a pleasure strolling through the Palace Park.
This is the Cruz Alta, the High Cross. It sits atop a high hill which provides a great view of the Pena Palace.
The view of the Pena Palace from the Cruz Alta.
And here is a shot of the Palace from another vantage point in the Palace Park.
The Park has many features, such as streams and ponds.
This swan wished me a safe journey back to Lisbon. A fitting end to my Romantic day trip to Sintra.
To return to the Paintings section of this website, please CLICK HERE