Portugal Tour - Medieval to Modern
September 18-26, 2005


September 22nd was our trip out to Sintra and the summer residence of the Moorish lords and Kings, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra. One of the most important examples of regal architecture in Portugal and for that reason it is classified as a National Monument. This gradual multiplication of buildings, with different styles, is largely responsible for the enigmatic enchantment of this ancient palace, dominated by great twin chimneys atop the kitchen that constitute as authentic ex-libris of Sintra. Of special note, apart from the elements of Gothic, Mudejar, Manueline and Renaissance architecture, are the wonderful azulejos (coloured glazed tiles) from the 15th and 16th Centuries in various halls and patios, and in the Royal Chapel.

I saw this wonderful red fish on the wall of one of the buildings in Sintra and had to take it's picture. Sintra or Cynthia means moon. We could not take pictures inside this palace but I think one of the most impressive things about it was standing in the kitchen and looking up - way up - to see just where those smoke stacks ended. They are 60 meters tall! There were 31 rooms to go through so expect some really neat things while there. We were here for a while so afterwards, I took the opportunity to walk around and take some pictures before we all met for lunch then it was off to the gardens of Monserrate.

The designer of this little romantic palace was James Knowles Jr. and it was built in 1858 on the initiative of Francis Cook, Viscount Monserrate, A work in the Romantic-Orientalist spirit, with its great circular tower, bulbous cupolas and exotic decoration, the building recalls in particular the famous Brighton Pavilion of Nash, and English Romantic architecture.

We also made a stop at Cabo da Roca, the western most point of Europe. Very windy here and the fine sand blows everywhere, but the view was out of this world...I think the only plant that grows here is this little yellow one, but it might be different in the spring. Then we drove along the coast to Cascais. I spotted this cute little police car...then a walk along the water before getting back into our bus and heading back to Lisbon.







  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row