Spring is always a good idea to return to the enchanting Portugal, which always has something new or surprising to offer.
Whenever in Lisbon, my itinerary must always include Sintra…
Sintra is the place where the masterpiece “Os Lusíadas” by the national poet Luís Vas de Camões was first read and the place where King Manuel I watched the return of Vasco da Gama from the expedition in which he had discovered the Indies. Sintra is also the place where the Romantic Movement in architecture started.
Sintra is a fairytale place, a small town of castles … If in the first article about Sintra, that you can find here, we talked about the Pena Palace, the Royal Palace and the Monserrate Palace, now it’s time to talk about two other jewels of the place: Quinta da Regaleira and the Castle of the Moors.
The current version of Quinta da Regaleira was built by Augusto Carvalho Monteiro offering the entire property a special symbolism, as well as an ingenious combination of architectural styles (Roman, Gothic, Manueline, Romantic).
The place, in its complexity, is a special one and even the uninitiated can distinguish esoteric elements and references to Portuguese mythology. The palace is actually a huge house, spread over 5 floors, with an impressive Gothic facade.
In front of the Palace there is a neo-Manueline style chapel decorated with frescoes, stained glass windows and statues of Saint Anthony and Saint Teresa of Avila.
The real wonder of the place is actually the 4-hectare garden that abounds in Masonic and Knight Templar symbols. The deep symbolism of the garden provokes reflection on life and death or the communion between man and nature. The park is a network of caves, tunnels and turrets, all having the final destination: the Initiation Fountain which is also the main attraction of the park.
A visit here urges introspection, self-knowledge and meditation, the Castle and the garden are explored and revealed to each according to the level of knowledge it has reached and, more than that, it intrigues and causes an even greater urge for documentation and knowledge.
The Castle of the Moors is located on a hill, opposite the Pena Palace and it offers a grandiose panorama. It is a medieval castle whose construction began in the eighth century and ended in the ninth century, then, in the 12th century, it underwent a reconstruction and became a strategic point of defense. It is worth coming for a walk here, for the coolness, the panorama and the joy of climbing the defensive walls of the castle which are over 450 m high.
The visit to Portugal does not end here. I can’t wait to tell you how I saw 6 of the 7 wonders of Portugal in just two days!Vizita în Portugalia nu se incheie aici, abia aștept să vă povestesc cum am văzut în două zile 6 din cele 7 minuni ale Portugaliei!