Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sintra- a real treasure that should be on everyone's "to see" list!

Sintra was not even on our radar until we started talking to this bartender who makes the best mojitos in all of Lisbon!  He told us to go to Sintra as it is filled with castles and palaces, and is a cute town. No kidding it is cute! There are about 6 different palaces/castles to see: we saw two- Pena and Queluz (K-Loozzzz).  AWESOME!!!!

Pena Palace is probably my favorite palace of any I have ever seen because it is so interesting!  It started as a monestary in the 11th century, then the order was dissolved by the king, and it stood vacant for a few centuries, then another king took it and built a couple other wings and over time, you have gothic, medieval, and renaissance characteristics!  Add 130 acres of grounds, and you have a palace! We spent about 5 hours there just walking around.  It really is a very interesting place!

 View from the bus stop as you approach the entry way.

 View of the castle from a hill on the grounds.

 Rich at the front gate

 Detail: bizarre, but cool, window

 Detail: bizarre but cool tile work

 St. George showed up in the stained glass window of the chapel!

 Rich on a rampart

 Us on a wall looking at the interesting part!

 View from below

King's bedroom

The next day we went to the palace of QueLuz which is between Lisbon and Sintra.  It is patterned after Versaille (aren't they all? LOL!).  It started as a country home owned by some nobles, and then bought by the king and expanded, so it has an old section and a new section.  A more familiar type palace, that we loved.  This palace is noted for the statuary placed around the well-tended grounds.
 Hall of Mirrors
 selfie in the hall of mirrors because....so many mirrors!
 Just another ball room:-)
 Rich in the tile room.  The tile scenes represent the 4 seasons, the continents, etc.  Quite beautiful, but too much to take in!
 The ambassadors meeting room where dignitaries meet the king and queen
 the "throne" room (check out the seats on these thrones:-)
 side entrance to the palace (and tour exit)
 the main hours of the old part of the palace
 one of many of the more unusual statues!!  (lol!!!  Nothing like goofing around when on vacation!  Especially when you can make fun of a historical monument- did I say that out loud?)
 Neptune Fountain in front of the new part of the palace
View of the new part of the palace

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