Erin Explores

by Erin Elaine

Sintra, Portugal (Dec 2012 trip)

View of the town of Sintra from inside the Sintra National Palace.

View of the town of Sintra from inside the Sintra National Palace.

Sintra is a small town about 45 minutes away from Lisbon by train. The entire town is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its natural beauty and the multiple historical sites located here.

The first one I visited was the Sintra National Palace in the center of town.

This is the "look how cool the royals are" room, with the family crests of 72 different noble families on display.

This is the “look how cool the royals are” room, with the family crests of 72 different noble families on display.


This desk is made with turtle shell, ivory, and more. It's like a piece of art. Very beautiful.

This desk is made with turtle shell, ivory, and more. It’s like a piece of art. Very beautiful.


The next place I visited was Quinta da Regaleira. This was originally a private estate, built in 1904. There is a fascinating mix of natural beauty and architectural elements. It was very beautiful and it reminded me a little of Rivendell, for any LOTR fans reading. There are stone towers beside waterfalls. There are large fountains in the middle of a forested area. There is a small chapel, as well as a mansion, on the grounds. There are underground pathways and a very famous well – read on for more about that.
Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Waterfall Lake

Waterfall Lake


SAM_0998b

The Initiation Well – This is an inverted tower that leads down underground. The spiral staircase is composed of 9 different layers, simulating the 9 circles of hell from “Dante’s Inferno”. The well is meant to be a link between heaven and the underworld. The emotions evoked while descending are contrasted with the emotions evoked while ascending back up to the surface.

I really enjoyed seeing this well. It is very beautiful and so unique. There’s nothing quite like it.

SAM_1010b
SAM_1009b
SAM_1014b

The next place I visited was the Moorish Castle. It was built around the year 1000, meaning it is 1000+ years old and it had already been standing for 600 years before Jamestown started. Pretty amazing to think about how old things are in Europe.

This castle is wayyyy up at the top of a very high hill. It’s completely isolated and mysterious. I was nearly completely alone when I was up there, with only the sound of the wind and the sight of the fog shifting around to keep me company. It was very calming and also a little haunting. Normally there is an amazing view of Sintra from this castle, but it was foggy when I visited. I didn’t really mind though, because it was very beautiful. I think the fog adds some mystery to the photos.

SAM_1063b

SAM_1073bSAM_1062b
SAM_1069bSAM_1087b

The last place I visited was Pena Palace, built in the 1840s as a pet project of King Ferdinand. This palace was essentially just for looks, it didn’t serve a strategic purpose. The loud, bright colors of the exterior make that pretty clear.

This picture is from Wikipedia, to show what the palace looks like from a distance.

This picture is from Wikipedia, to show what the palace looks like from a distance.

As you can see, the exterior need to be restored as soon as possible. Hopefully some plans are in the works for that. But the architecture was very interesting to see, and the inside was beautiful.

As you can see, the exterior needs to be restored as soon as possible. Hopefully some plans are in the works for that. But the architecture was very interesting to see, and the inside was beautiful.

SAM_1141bSAM_1127b

SAM_1110bSAM_1123b

SAM_1118bSAM_1153b

Sintra was a fascinating place to see, and it was so nice to get out of the city and see some nature. Anyone going to Lisbon should definitely make Sintra a priority. There were a few other sites in Sintra that I didn’t even have time to see, so these pictures don’t show all Sintra has to offer. The town itself is also very cute.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on December 13, 2012 by in Photos, Portugal, Travel and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: