Perfectly Picturesque Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal

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Pena Palace in Sintra

One of the first days of this Portuguese trip was a day trip to Sintra – a short distance from Lisboa. Sintra itself is extraordinarily cute with picturesquely climbing alleyways, art galleries and craft shops. It is also a great spot because it forms the center of a district of stunning country houses and palaces. There is a royal palace downtown, right on the main square. But we were there to see the houses in the neighborhood. My favorite is the least “tasteful” of the lot. Many guidebooks dismiss it as Victorian eccentricity at its worst, but I think that it’s Victorian eccentricity at its best.Pena Palace Portugal

Pena Palace Portugal

Suzie at Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena) is a spectacular mountaintop amalgam of Gothic, Manueline, Moorish and Renaissance elements. It was built for King Ferdinand II between 1842 and 1854 and designed by a German amateur architect, Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege.  It is now a Unesco World Heritage Site as one of the greatest examples of Nineteenth Century Pena Palace PortugalRomantic Revivalism. The day we visited, it was intermittently foggy and rainy. We’ve visited in bright sunny weather on previous trips to Portugal, and I think that it looks even better in the fog.Pena Palace Portugal IMG_0098 IMG_0099








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About Elan and Susan

Elan and Susan try to travel for at least one month a year, and are interested in city life, neighborhoods, local food, architecture and art. They love to linger in exotic places and get to know the place like locals. Elan and Susan have run a bed and breakfast in Cape May New Jersey for over twenty years. Susan's background is in art history. Elan's is in architecture and history . They both love to eat and Elan loves to cook. Together, they have written three books - The Secret Life of Victorian Houses about Victorian social history, Creating Authentic Period Rooms creating period interiors, and an e-book Rome Secrets, which is eleven self-guided walking tours