A place close to Lisbon taken out of a fairy tale. How Pena Palace in Sintra took me back to my childhood dreams

Do you recall your childhood dreams about being a prince or a princess, sitting on a throne in a huge, colorful palace? A palace on top of a hill, from which you could see all your kingdom? Do you remember imagining your days spent on calm strolls around royal gardens full of exotic plants? These were pleasant dreams. I came back to them as soon as I saw Pena Palace in Sintra. Colorful, on top of the hill, surrounded by a garden full of exotic plants. Apparently, it seems that in XIX century young Ferdinand II of Portugal had the same dreams. The only difference was that he actually was a prince 🙂

Ferdinand when he’s already become a king of Portugal decided to build a palace on ruins of a medieval monastery destroyed in a tragic Lisbon earthquake in 1755. The palace was to become a summer residence for him and his wife, Queen Maria II. The royal family personally planned the symbolic decorations of the palace. I must say – they had a great imagination. And an amazing taste.

Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace
Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace

Pena Palace is definitely the most beautiful one I have ever seen. It surprises with the unusual combination of colors and decorations. Part of the palace is covered with traditional Portughese decorative tiles – azulejos. With a bit of imagination, it’s easy to move to the magical world of childhood stories and fairy-tales.

Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace
Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace
Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace

You can also find Queen Maria’s stone throne and admire the palace from her favorite spot. I even got a scepter! The view was stunning indeed, but the throne seemed a bit hard and cold for my noble, royal behind…

Trip to Sintra: Queen Maria’s throne
Trip to Sintra: a view from Queen Maria’s throne

Do not miss this place when you are in Lisbon. You can reach Sintra from there directly by train, it takes 40 minutes. From the railway station in Sintra to the palace gardens you can either take one of numerous mean of transports (buses, tuk-tuks) or go there on foot. As ambitious tourists, we decided to walk. Let me warn you – it’s quite a  long walk up the hill, but it’s a good warm-up 🙂 We bought an entrance to the park and palace’s terraces, we didn’t go inside the palace (did I mention already that majority of palaces’ interiors look the same for me?). It cost 10,50 EUR.

Trip to Sintra: Pena Palace
Childhood dreams may seem naïve and surreal after years pass. Our dreams change with age and experience we gather. I don’t dream about a palace or being a princess anymore, not even about Prince Charming on a white horse. It’s enough for me to see places where other princesses lived with their princes. This way I make my current dream come true. About becoming rich. Enriching my personality. 🙂

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