Pena National Palace: Romantic Fairytales

by KNYCX Journeying
December 8, 2021 | 4 min read

Pena National Palace: Romantic Fairytales


Portugal has a strong background in maritime history and rich culture and character. I was so impressed with the Portuguese pavement – the colorful, artistic cobbled roads that could be found anywhere in the streets and alleys of the country (or its former colonies, Brazil, and Macau); and the Azulejos – painted tin-glazed ceramic tiles that were artistic and unique.
There was the morning we prepared for a little excursion (and later it also became a little workout), in the outskirt of the capital city. Sintra is a small town on the west side of Lisbon full of gardens, green space and palaces, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it was raining heavily in the morning, we waited it out and luckily the weather was fabulous for the rest of the day. After a short train ride, we arrived at the city of Sintra and wasted no time to get in line for the shuttle bus to the Pena National Palace!

Pena National Palace


Pena National Palace is a place that tourists would remember. As a Romanticist palace, the palace is definitely a fantasy – the exterior is painted with vibrant colors, the towers are decorated with whimsical sculpture, and the Palace stands on top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains, which could be seen all the way from Lisbon on a clear day. It is also an excellent viewpoint of Sintra. 🙂

I found the Palace special because of its look! It is one of those palaces in Europe that had a rather colorful and dreamy exterior compared to those ‘typical’ single-colored and symmetrical-constructed ones. The Park and the Palace of Pena are the finest examples of 19th century Portuguese Romanticism and the integration of natural and built heritage. They constitute the most important part of the cultural landscape of Sintra’s World Heritage Site.

Dona Maria II and Don Fernando II are the builders of Pena. Today the Palace is well preserved and I had a glimpse of the royal life, while Don Pedro V, Don Luis I, Don Carlos I and Don Manuel II lived in this palace in the late 19th century. I like the kitchen, the chapel, the Manueline Cloisters, and the Triton allegorical gateway. The palace is converted into a museum, following the implantation of the Republic in 1910-1912.


Castle of the Moors


Park of Pena is a natural environment of rare beauty and scientific importance. the Park is remarkable as a project of landscape transformation of a Hill, barren at the time, into arboretum integrating several historic gardens. It occupies almost eighty-five hectares of exceptional geological and climatic conditions.

Speaking of viewpoints, we took a short walk after seeing the Pena Palace, and through the giant trees, we reached the Moorish Castle, a Portuguese medieval castle on another hilltop in the Sintra Mountains. We climbed up the stairs to the top and we had a great panoramic view of the vast open area below us. Thank you for the nice weather after the morning rain and as we turned around the Pena National Palace was right in front of us on another peak!


Walking back down to the town there are a lot of tourist spots for us to see and do. We went to the Town Palace which was built in the 16th century and declared a National Monument. The structure could be easily recognized from afar with its two giant corn-shaped chimneys! More, we tried Queijadas, a small novelty sweet cake in Sintra made with cheese~

Here I found a really nice drone video of the Pena National Palace!

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Any thoughts, tips or questions?

Hey! I am Kenny. Since I was a kid, I was bitten by a travel bug quite seriously that I would choose a globe and atlas book for Christmas over video games. Now, the Knycx Journeying website was launched as a platform to share my passion - covering anything that interests me from history, culture, humanity, architecture, art, food, music to outdoor adventure.

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