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Pena National Palace


Pena National Palace, in the historical town of Sintra and part of the Pena park, represents one of the best expressions in the world of 19th-century architectural Romanticism. On 7 July 2007, it was selected as one of the seven wonders of Portugal.

Portugal Car Hire in Sintra to visit Pena PalaceThe Palace dates back to 1839, when the King Consort Dom Fernando II of Saxe Coburg-Gotha (1816-1885) bought the ruins of the Hieronymite Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena and started to adapt it for use as a residence, according to his Romantic taste.

The Romans made it a place of cult moon worshiping and named it "Cynthia" after the goddess of the moon. They were followed by the Moors who also fell in love with the lush vegetation and built a hilltop castle, a palace, and several fountains around the town. Later it became the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family and attracted a number of wealthy aristocrats who built huge mansions and villas.
Famous British poet and traveler Lord Byron stopped by in the 18th century, writing that the town is "perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe," and calling it a "glorious Eden" in his epic poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. His fellow countryman Robert Southey followed him and saw it as "the most blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe." Others made it their own private retreat, such as William Beckford (one of 18th century England's wealthiest men), who lived in the splendid Monserrate Palace, later bought by Francis Cook.

The palace stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area.

Pena Park is now considered to have the richest and most unusual collection of tree species in Europe, which no longer exist in many of the other countries and continents from which they originate.

Pena National Palace and its Park is for sure a place not to miss visiting while in Portugal. To get there and enjoy the beautiful landscapes roads of Sintra the best way is to hire a car in Lisbon or even in Sintra and drive at your will.

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