An October 2003 trip
to Sintra by travelprone
Quote: Your must day trip from Lisbon: seductive, sylvan Sintra was the favorite summertime escape for royals. To Pena Palace by bus, then shuttle, it's up, up and away to Fantasyland! There's so much to enjoy that an overnight stay would extend your delight of palaces and forest greenery.
Clean, comfortable trains to Sintra leave from the Rossio Station frequently; the trip takes 50 minutes and it’s only a short walk to the bus stop on your right at you leave the station. We chose Friday, a day when bothpalaces are open. Avoid Mondays or Wednesdays when only one palace is open.
The most fun in the three stage journey to Pena was our "green connection" wooden-sided, tram-like bus from the Pena Park entrance up and up the winding way through the forest to a terminus just below the cliffs on which Pena Castle rests. You look up and there IT looms above you.. A castle! Turrets!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2004
Praca da Republica 14
Attraction | "Palacio Nacional"
Because we saw Pena Palace first, we considered this to be a palace more ordinary, except for its two huge chimneys that evoked in us echoes of Casa Batlo’s even weirder ones. However, although not as grotesquely picturesque as Pena, this much older castle offers several highpoints of interest that are very worthwhile to see.
In the Sala dos Brasoaes (Coat of Arms Room) she stated that not only were the coats of arms radiating outward from the monarchical center, arranged according to aristocratic rank, but that, within rank, the males of a line preceded the females!
Tall tales surround the Sala de Leas (Chamber of the Magpies); supposedly its design of birds resulted from King Jao I’s anger at court ladies’ (magpies’) gossip concerning his marked attentions to a court lady that culminated in a kiss witnessed by his wife, Philippa of Lancaster. The ensuing rift between them had been prolonged by their gossip. The magpies’ Por bem message, variously translated as "for the good" or "for honor," was supposedly the explanation he offered to his wife as excuse for his kissing another woman just as she came upon them. The magpies in this room carry a rose in their beaks, fittingly as Philippa, mother of Henry the Navigator, came from an English royal house whose symbol was a rose. The room itself is beautiful, as is the Sala das Sireias (Room of Sirens), which is adorned by splendid Sevillian tiles.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 21, 2004
Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace
Attraction | "Palacio Nacional da Pena (Exterior)"
Attraction | "Palacio Nacional da Pena (Interior)"