Mink Machine

The fairytale castles of Sintra

The Portuguese town of Sintra is famous for many beautiful castles. Palácio Nacional da Pena is arguably the most stunning of the lot. It stands proudly on a hilltop in the mountains above Sintra. Construction started with a chapel built in the Middle Ages, which was later turned into a summer residence for the royal family in 1847. Heavily inspired by German castles, it also features Islamic elements.

Sintra castle Palacio Nacional da Pena, facade.
Sintra castle Palacio Nacional da Pena, courtyard.
Sintra castle Palacio Nacional da Pena, just as impressive on the inside.

After visiting this castle, Palacio Nacional de Sintra seems almost normal in comparison. It is situated in the middle of the town and used to be the royal palace for 400 years. The long construction time combined with a mix of rulers resulted in a blend of influences, including Gothic and Moorish styles. The silhouette is dominated by something that looks like towers, but is actually the chimneys from the large 13th century kitchen.

Sintra castle Palacio Nacional de Sintra, courtyard.

Castelo dos Mouros is a different kind of castle. It was build as protection in the 8th century during the Muslim period, and was later taken by Christians after the conquest of Lisbon in 1147. Today only a ruin remains.

Sintra castle Castle of the Moors.

After all this walking in the heat, may I suggest you try the local travesseiros, a sort of almond cakes. The best are found at Piriquita on Rua das Padarias.

Comments

No comments yet.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

I still love you, New York

I still love you, New York

"Now I’m back and our roles are somewhat reversed. Like River Song and the Doctor, we meet again under different circumstances."
Eating my way through Basque country

Eating my way through Basque country

"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."
Getting lost in Yazd

Getting lost in Yazd

"Navigating on random while surrounded by staring old men, pointing their crooked fingers at the Godzilla Viking in surprise. It feels like I’m walking around in Mos Eisley."
Wazzup in Vaduz

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."
Vineyards of southern France

Vineyards of southern France

"Not far from Sauternes is the village of Saint-Émilion, also a famous wine region but what got me hooked was their impressive limestone caves."
The streets of Paris

The streets of Paris

"One of the advantages of repeated visits to a place is the leisure pace of awe and discovery while drifting slowly down the worn streets of the French capital."

Instagram

Seville
Venice
Fever Ray
Rome
Basel
Kuala Lumpur