Sintra Off The Beaten Path Tips by NunoF Top 5 Page for this destination
Sintra Off The Beaten Path: 36 reviews and 50 photos
Most of Sintra's visitors search for its beautiful buildings, but what makes Sintra a mystic old town is its forest... You look everywhere and you can see all that beautiful forest.
Bellow you can see a travelogue with some pictures that I took while driving, hope you enjoy it.
The Quinta da Regaleira (or Regaleira) is located near the centre of Sintra and it's formed by a Palace, a Chapel and gardens with grottos, wells and subterranean areas, built from the end of the 19th century to the eve of the republican revolution in 1910, by a very rich Portuguese man of Brazilian birth, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro and his architect, the Italian Luigi Manini.
Open: Jan/Nov/Dec 10.00-17.30. Feb-May/Oct 10.00-18.30. Jun-Sep 10.00-20.00
Free: Auto-guide with a map - any time during opening hours
Guded Tours: General: 11.00/12.30/14.30/16.00. Thematic: Min. 8 pers, max 30 pers.
Special: Min. 16 pers, max 30 pers.
This 8th century Moorish castle was conquered by King Afonso Henriques in 1147. It is located on top of Serra de Sintra and stands above the old town like a silent sentinel and it gives a funny contrast to the town because it's the only castle/palace in the region that was built in romanic style.
Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest scenes--
Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men?
Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
To follow half on which the eye dilates
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those wherof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates?
Lord Byron - Childe's Pelgrimage - Canto One,18
Its history dates back to the Moors, but it takes its name from a small 16th century chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Monserrat in Catalonia, Spain. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by a wealthy Englishman William Beckford. They were latter imortalized by Lord Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812).
In 1856, the abandoned estate was bought by another Englishman, Sir Francis Cook, who built a fantastic Moorish-style palace and stransformed the gardens with a large sweeping lawn, camellias and sub-tropical trees from all over the world. Recently it was constituted an organization, Friends of Monserrate, in order to help restore the neglected house and gardens to their former glory.
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