National Palace of Pena: The Most Amazing Palace in Europe
Are you looking for an awe-inspiring experience to remember? Then come and explore the magnificent Pena Palace located in Sintra, Portugal.
Nestled atop a picturesque peak of the Sintra hills, Park and National Palace of Pena provide stunning views to the Sintra town and at the clear day even of Lisabon. Visitors need only to traverse through the beautiful grounds filled with lush vegetation to arrive at this remarkable palace full in vibrant color!
Step through the gates and be transported to another time filled with captivating scenery, an abundance of natural beauty, and several architectural styles from different eras.
Wander around colourful terraces looking out into beautiful landscapes full of mysteries crafted centuries ago. Prepare yourself for a breathtaking adventure at this incredible destination.
Built on the site of an old monastery, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portugal and a must-see for any traveler visiting this beautiful country. It's a UNESCO world heritage site, built by Ferdinand II in the middle ages as a place of leisure and artistic expression.
Here’s what you need to know about visiting this iconic Pena Palace Sintra - one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Highlights of the Pena Palacephoto source: Pixabay
The Pena Palace Sintra is a breathtaking structure and a shining example of 19th century Romantic architecture.
Its walls are painted in vivid shades of yellow and red, an homage to Medieval Neo Manueline architectural styles. Its multiple colourful terraces offer views of the village below and the surrounding hills.
Located atop a rainforest-covered peak, the palace also features lush gardens with picturesque pathways leading up to its ethereal beauty. Experience the luxurious lifestyle of the royal family at the Pena Palace Sintra!
Wander through its majestic hallways to explore a number of regal rooms, including an impressive royal dining room, elegant noble chamber and chapel - plus sumptuous bedrooms where past kings and queens each once resided.
The interior of the palace reveals intricate stucco décor, colorful azulejos tiles, ornate wall carvings and exotic furnishings that create a sense of grandeur.
The impressive grounds include two ponds, follies dotted around its steep terrain and unique stone sculptures formed from layers of quartz ore.
Whether visiting during the summer or winter months, visitors to the Pena Palace will be sure to be mesmerized by its regal beauty and captivating atmosphere.
The Royal Dining Room of Pena Palace
Experience a royal affair with a visit to the historic Royal Dining Room of Pena Palace. This spectacular dining room was converted from an ancient 16th century cloister by its new noble occupants, and today stands as testimony to centuries-old traditions.
Seating 24 diners in regal grandeur, here you can marvel at antique plates belonging to monarchical times decoratively laid out on the table alongside colorful crystal glasses featuring ornate crowns; all framed against backdrops or rare fruits and flowers painstakingly arranged for maximum opulence - much like it would have been enjoyed in previous eras of Portugal when the royal family lived here!
Great Hall of Pena Palace
The lavish Great Hall, otherwise known as the Noble Room of Pena Palace is one to behold.
Majestically inspired by the Ottoman Court with a stucco decoration and iron replicas of Turkish kings, this grand event space was surely a spectacular location for noble festivities in Lisbon's high society during summertime.
Red leather sofas on either side create an illusion that the room extends beyond its walls, whilst gold mirrored canopies make it shine ever brighter when lit up from within!
Pena Palace Terraces
Exploring the terraces of Pena Palace is a must-do activity while visiting. With spectacular landscapes, each viewpoint offers magnificent photo opportunities and memorable moments in time.
The Queen's Terrace
The Queen's terrace of Pena Palace is an exquisite place for any visitor - affording majestic views across the palace, Sintra Valley and Moorish Castle. In front of the Queen's terrace you can see the High Cross, which is located at the highest point of the Sintra mountain range.
A must-see attraction at the Queen's Terrace is their majestic sundial cannon, whose loud boom marked noon each day! A yellow dome frames your picturesque memories as you stop to tuck into a tasty snack or nourishing meal at its very own restaurant before admiring further vistas!
Enter the mythological creatures world of Triton’s Terrace! Right after you pass through the Monumental Gate, you'll find a terrace dedicated to its namesake and legendary figure: half man, half fish - Triton.
A divine representation between two worlds – water below and land above. Feel like an ancient ruler as your gaze falls upon intricate marine motifs such as corals and shells in one part; lavish foliage adorned with bunches of grapes on another section - it's almost too magnificent for words!
Coach House’s Terrace
Treat yourself to a fantastical journey over the cobblestones of Coach House’s Terrace. Located steps away from Triton's terrace and the majestic National Palace of Pena kitchen, this is where exiled royalty once kept their elaborate carriages and welcomed foreign dignitaries with grandeur!
The Chapel of Pena stands as a monument to history, preserving the authentic 15th century Monastery Church of Our Lady of Pena. Inside lies an impressive alabaster altarpiece from 1528 and a stunning 1841 stained glass window depicting Vasco da Gama bowing before King Manuel I. This medieval chapel is sure to astound visitors with its astounding beauty!
Manueline Cloister is a stunning architectural structure in Portugal. Its many galleries lead to an open courtyard, featuring walls adorned with Hispano-Mudéjar tiles filled with different colors and geometric motifs made using the cuerda seca or “dry cord” technique. At its center sits an impressive carving of a giant shell held up by four little turtles - symbolizing the connection between land and sea: vegetal life giving rise to aquatic creatures below.
Park of Pena Palace Sintra (Parque da Pena)
Of course no palace would truly be complete without extensive gardens where one could escape from reality for just a while… And so King Ferdinand created Pena Park containing over 2 thousand different species ranging from native Portuguese flora to exotic varieties brought overseas specifically for this purpose.
Pena Park is undoubtedly one of the most stunning parks and gardens in Europe. Take a stroll through this tranquil environment and explore lush trees, blooming flowers, and winding wooded paths.
Garden & Chalet of the Countess of Edla
Discover romance, nature and architecture with a visit to the Garden & Chalet of the Countess of Edla. Located just two kilometers from Pena Palace in Portugal's Sintra Cultural Landscape, this chalet is part of an extraordinary love story between Fernando and Elise that has become one its country’s great legends.
On site there are over dozen rooms for exploration filled with woodwork, cork tile stucco among other architectural styles elements as well as beautiful gardens among with over 200 species encompassing Amelias, Azaleas Rhododendrons alongside Tree ferns -perfect harmony within which it is easy to find peace!
Read also: The most gorgeous palaces to visit in Europe
Pena Palace Historyphoto source: Freepik
In the middle ages, on the same spot where Pena Palace now stands was a small, quiet place for meditation, Pena Monastery. A monastery with space for 18 monks was built for the Order of Saint Jerome in the 15th century at the request of King Manuel I, who loved this chapel.
In the late 1700s, tragedy befell Pena Monastery when a powerful bolt of lightning inflicted extensive damage. Less than two months later devastation from the Great Lisbon Earthquake compounded this destruction and reduced it to rubble.
King Ferdinand II was a visionary leader who, in the mid-1800s, saw great potential in the neglected ruins of an old monastery and its surrounding lands inclusive Castelo dos Mouros, Offering them to his beloved Queen Maria II as part of a grand gesture, he purchased all that surrounded it too - including a Moorish castle!
Construction began in 1842 and took five years to complete what is now known as Pena Palace; with several architectural styles from New-Romanesque to distinctly Neo-Gothic finishes alongside Eastern elements like Indo Gothic & Moroccan designs. The most eye catching feature must be its vivid reds and yellow hues harmonizing against Sintra’s mountain backdrop – pretty spectacular stuff!
The palace was designed by German architect Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege who united his love of medieval style with his own romantic interpretation of nature to create an exquisite example of 19th-century Romanticism architecture, which is considered as one of the finest in Europe.
After the passing of King Ferdinand, ownership and responsibility for his beloved palace passed to none other than Elisa Hensler - Countess of Edla. Unfortunately her reign was brief; as in 1889 it fell into Portuguese State hands and would soon become classified a national monument, eventually being converted into a museum that stands today!
Rich with history, Pena Palace is a site of immense significance to the cultural landscape of Sintra. This breathtaking National Monument was recognized by UNESCO in 1995 as an esteemed World Heritage Site and it holds another important honor - since 2013, Pena National Palace has been named one of Europe's royal residences!
photo source: Freepik / Clock Tower of Pena Palace
Why is Pena Palace famous?
The magical Pena Palace stands tall, atop the spectacular mountain range near Sintra. As one of Portugal's Seven Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this awe-inspiring monument is truly unique due to its combination of Neo-Gothic, New Manueline , New Islamic Style, and Neo Renaissance architecture all in one place!
A day trip from Lisbon to visit Palacio de Pena will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon - it'll leave you feeling majestic and romantic at once.
How do you get to Pena Palace Portugal?
The breathtaking Pena Palace, located in the picturesque town of Sintra and less than 4 km away from the majestic Sintra National Palace, is easy to reach.
Traveling by train? Take the CP-Sintras line until you get to the train station then grab bus number 434 for a 25-30 minute journey. If taking public transportation, opt instead for buses numbers 516 or 434 - with departures every 15 minutes – that’ll take around 30 minutes as well!
Driving your own car has its perks too; pick route IC19 if coming from Lisbon city center or join IC30 towards Mafra before arriving at this magnificent destination.
Do you need a ticket for Pena Palace?
The short answer is Yes...
Pena Palace is a stunning marvel, and an absolute must-see. To get the most out of your visit to this incredible palace, you will want to purchase tickets online in advance for one of two options: enjoy views of the palace interior and exterior as well as Pena Park with a Palace & Park Ticket, or save some euros by getting just the Park Ticket.
By purchasing a Park Ticket only, you will have the opportunity to not only explore the park, but also admire the stunning architecture of Pena Palace from the outside. Either way you'll be mesmerized at this magnificent location.
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