Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Second Sightseeing Day in Sintra

Beautiful Stag Room
 We were so enchanted with Sintra that we decided to pay it a second visit. A short walk from the train station led us to the Palacio Nacional. This palace was built on the original Moorish Medina of the 8th century. In the 1200s, King Dinis hired the free Moors who lived in the neighbouring villages to undertake the building of a palace for him to stay in when he visited from Lisbon.

A sad story associated with this castle is that of King Afonso VI, who was deposed by his brother Pedro II and kept locked in a room in the castle until he died. It is said that he was mentally unstable, but who wouldn't be if they were kept locked in a room all their life! (And it wasn't even a nice room!)

Royalty still used this palace until the Revolution brought an end to the monarchy in 1910. It was taken over by the state and turned into a national monument.

My favourite room was the stag room, a beautiful round room, with the walls covered in tiles, and the roof decorated with the coat of arms of both the king and individual coats of arms for each of his sons. Of course, Bryce's favourite part was the spiral staircase. Oh, how he loves those stairs!!


Beautiful Little Cathedral built in the grounds of the Quinta 

A short pedi cab ride up the hill brought us to the Quinta da Regaleira, a castle like mansion that was built in the 19th century by the man who was once the richest in all of Portugal. Although the mansion was beautiful, we loved the mysterious feel of the gardens most of all. There are secretive religious symbols, concealed gardens and other mysterious objects hidden throughout, and we had lots of fun hunting for them.
Climbing the stairs to the upper balcony in the chapel.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!
A cave with a spring in behind the statue.
A magical place!

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