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Sintra National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

These two white chimneys lead to the kitchen of the Sintra National Palace, parts of which were built by King John I of Portugal in the early 15th century. It was further expanded and inhabited by Portuguese royalty until 1910 when it became a national monument and museum. It is also listed as a UNESCO […]

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Portuguese Coat of Arms at Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

The Portuguese coat of arms is framed by three towers with battlements and below an arch at the Pena National Place. Notice the seven castles that surround five dice-like symbols. The latter represent bezant coins which were first issued when Portugal became a kingdom in 1143.

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Pena National Palace’s Features in Sintra, Portugal

Every little boy has built a castle in his imagination. The fantasy structure probably includes turrets, a drawbridge, ramparts, battlements, onion domes, towers, vaulted arches and plenty of gargoyles all majestically dominating a high hill. Portugal’s King Ferdinand II had the same checklist when he had Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege build the Pena National Palace […]

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Pena National Palace Triton Gate in Sintra, Portugal

This evil looking creature that is squatting in a claim shell over a bed of smaller ones is perched above the Triton Gate at the Pena National Palace. Apparently he symbolizes the creation of the world. He makes most castle gargoyles look tame.

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Pena National Palace Romanticist Architecture in Sintra, Portugal

I have seen lots of castles and palaces during my travels, but I do not recall one like the Pena National Palace that blends Moorish, Islamic, Gothic, Egyptian and Renaissance styles and then decorates them with red, pink and yellow pastel colors. This eclectic style is called Romanticist.

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Pena National Palace Queen’s Terrace in Sintra, Portugal

The Pena National Palace sits high on a hill overlooking the 500 acre Pana Park and the town of Sintra, Portugal. Some of the best views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site plus the valley below are from the Queen’s Terrace. On a clear day it is possible to see Lisbon which is 17 miles […]

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Pena National Palace Entrance Gate in Sintra, Portugal

Follow these tourists through the front gate of the Pena National Palace. Built upon the ruins of a Hieronymites monastery that was destroyed during a 1755 earthquake, this summer palace for Portuguese royalty was started in 1840 by King Ferdinand II and completed the year he died in 1885.

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Home Covered with Purple Lilacs in Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a town of less than 400,000 people on Portugal’s west coast along the Atlantic Ocean. Its history can be traced back to prehistoric times and several remnants remain from the Middle Ages including palaces, castles, lush gardens plus delightful buildings like this one that is covered by vines and purple lilacs.

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Cámara Municipal Town Hall in Sintra, Portugal

The first thing you notice about the Town Hall of Sintra, called the Cámara Municipal, is the magnificent tower which is adorned with green and white glazed tiles and surrounded by four smaller spires. This Manueline style city hall first opened as an administration center in 1909.