Hi all, and happy (?) Tuesday to you all! Last week I posted on my day trip to Sintra, from Lisbon. Sintra is a brilliant destination, probably worth a couple of days at least of your time, but well, time seems to be something I seldom have. You can read that post here – The Full Lowdown – Day Trip to Sintra from Lisbon – Castles and Mountains
Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos in Pena Palace, but I did take a few inside the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, so I thought I would feature those today. The palace dates back to 12th century or before, although it is unclear what was on the site at the time. From there the palace has been built, renovated and added to over the centuries. There is a strong Moorish/Islamic influence to the palace, although there are many other influences over the ages including gothic. Enjoy!
You start off with a curiously shaped palace from the outside, the two large chimneys being what your eye is drawn too. From the entrance you are faced with a hall, through a door a curving staircase. It doesn’t take long to realise that the inside is far more interesting than the outside!
The Salas dos Basoes is probably the most impressive room in all of the palace. It has an amazing ceiling, as many are made with wood but this is a domed ceiling. The room is also big on azuelos, these amazing blue tiles that I believe hail from Portugal as an art form.
Elsewhere in the palace there are so many rooms to explore, with more amazing ceiling art, wall coverings and despite the Islamic influence, a chapel!
Finally we found the kitchen over which the chimneys pump the heat out. Some of the bedrooms are also on display, and there is more tile work to admire. Some of the chandeliers and lighting efforts are pretty impressive too! There are also gardens out the back – not featured in my photos.
All in all, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, in Sintra Town itself, is the perfect start to a tour of the region. It’s not as grand as Pena, or as colourful, and the location isn’t quite as ‘fairytale’, but it’s a really interesting and well displayed palace to be sure. Plus, it doesn’t suffer the ridiculous crowds of Pena!
I hope you enjoyed today’s photos. Take care as always, wherever you are, and May the Journey Never End!