Thursday, 19 May 2011

Sintra...just around the corner.

A common error while booking a trip to Lisbon is booking one night in Sintra, in the assumption that Sintra is very distant from Lisbon. Well, it isn't. Especially if you are staying in a hotel located right next to the Rossio's train station.

EPAE (Parques de Sintra / Pedro Yglesias)
The train is the easiest mean of transportation to Sintra, there are many trains each 10 minutes during rush hours and each 20 minutes during the rest of the day and the trip takes around 40 minutes. So, I wonder: do you really need to change hotels in order to visit Sintra? Of course not.

Sintra is one of those magical places where nature and mankind come together in perfect harmony, as if they wanted to leave us surprised, surrendered to the beauty of the work that was classified by the UNESCO as World Cultural and Landscape Heritage in 1995.

We find in Sintra testimony of virtually every period of the Portuguese history and, often, in a dimension that went beyond the boundaries of this territory, for its importance.

Its origins date back to prehistoric times. In the area, important remains belonging to the Late Neolithic, were found. During the time of Arab domination, the population lived in a golden era, due to its influence as a major supply center and defensive support of Lisbon.

Throughout the Middle Ages, on the remains of the Arab palace, a royal palace was built which served as summer residence for the monarchy. From this moment on Sintra acquires a new momentum. At the end of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Romanticism deployment by the King D. Fernando II, attracts a large number of visitors, converting it into an unique cultural center.

Today, apart from the perfect combination between an unspoiled nature and an unique historical and monumental legacy, Sintra also has some important tourist infrastructure and leisure.

What not to miss during your visit to Sinta:
Castelo dos Mouros (Parques de Sintra / Emigus)

Castelo dos Mouros

Known as the Moorish Castle, it is situated at 3km from the city center on Highway Pena, one of the summits of the Serra de Sintra, a place from where you can enjoy great views.




Palácio da Pena (Parques de Sintra / NES)

Palácio e Parque da Pena

Represents a mixture of exotic and medieval styles, and is one of the
greatest examples of Portuguese architecture of romanticism. Its interior has many rooms lavishly decorated.

The whole palace is surrounded by a beautiful park and has an excellent viewpoint from where you get some wonderful views.

Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Parques de Sintra / Emigus)


Palácio Nacional de Sintra

It is today the only Portuguese medieval royal palace and it is clearly distinguished by the two chimneys that stand on its structure. Inside you may find a large collection of Mudejar tiles, different rooms, patios, etc.

And especially the Jardim da Preta with acess from the interior of the palace, in which stands the statue of clay in real size that represents one of the most beautiful chapels in Sintra, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

It is considered a National Monument.

Sintra... a journey that will make your day!

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