Pena Palace, Sintra
The Palacio Nacional da Pena (The Feather Palace) is a flamboyant complex that was commissioned by an artistic king who wished the building to represent that of an opera. Each section of the exterior is individually styled with vivid colours and fine stone carvings.
Inside the state rooms have been retained as it was in 1910 when the Portuguese royal court fled to Brazil to escape the revolution. Surrounding the Pena Palace are 200 hectares of tree lined walks which lead to panoramic view points or hidden lakes. The Pena Palace is a wonderful flamboyant palace and possibly one of the best tourist attractions in the Lisbon region.
Pena Palace Sintra Tourist Information
The entrance fee to the Pena Palace and Pena Park is €13.50/€11.00 (adult/child). A cheaper ticket which grants access to the park and palace terraces but not the state rooms costs €7.50/€5.00 (adult/child). This second ticket allows visitors to explore the exterior of the palace and is ideal for visitors who have little interest in history or are pushed for time.
The decorative entrance to the Pena Palace
The Pena Palace, Sintra is open between the hours of 10:00 to 19:00 during the summer or 10:00 to 17:00 during the winter. The palace is closed on Mondays. Expect to spend 1.5-2 hours visiting all of the state rooms and the terraces with a further 1 hour to wander the forest trails.
Further Information and History of the Pena Palace Sintra
Palacio Pena translated into English means the Feather Place and this is a fitting name for such a flamboyant building. Queen Amélia spent her last night in Portugal based in the palace before escaping the country for Brazil. Many of the state rooms have been restored to how they were in 1910 and many of the original fittings still remain.
The palace in its present day form was commissioned by Ferdinand August Franz Anton from Austria , who married into the Portuguese royal family and became King Ferdinand II. King Ferdinand II marveled at the stunning views from the rocky outcrop and wished a castle built to rival the Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria. His only design input was that the palace should reflect an opera and is it was left to Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege to create the magical feather palace.
King Ferdinand II spent much of his later life based in the palace with his second wife, Elise Hensler. On the death of Ferdinand the palace was inherited by Elise Hensler who had become Countess d'made Edla. In 1995, the palace and the Cultural Landscape of Sintra were classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The architectural styling is classified as a 19th century Romanticism styled building. The palace has grotesque gargoyles that peer down over the main entrance, and illusionary spiked walls all below the vividly painted exterior.