TECHNICAL VISIT 1 - SINTRA
Time:9:30 - 18:00
Price: 110 €
Price includes: Tickets to National Palace of Sintra and Palace of Pena. Lunch at Pena Palace Restaurant.
National Palace of Sintra
The thousand-year-old history of the Palace of the Town of Sintra began during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Already mentioned in texts from the XI century, the original Moorish Palace became the property of the Portuguese Crown after the conquest of the city of Lisbon by Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, in 1147. It was first subjected to alteration work in 1281, in the reign of King Dinis, and new extensions were later added to the building over time, in the reigns of the kings Dinis, João I and Manuel I, although it has largely maintained its present-day outline since the mid-XVI century. The vertical arrangement of its spaces, adapting to the nature of the terrain; the intimate organisation of the interior courtyards, outdoor spaces in which one can hear the sound of running water; the windows with their surmounted arches; and the walls covered in glazed tiles with rich geometrical patterns, are all features that underline the Moorish links of the craftsmen who built and embellished the Palace.
Palace of Pena
The Palace of Pena stands atop a rocky peak, which is the second highest point in the Sintra hills. The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the XIX century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantasised version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. The 1994 repair works restored the original colours of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995. In 2013, the Palace was integrated into the Network of European Royal Residences.
Free time to visit the historical centre of Sintra.