Discover the History of Pena Palace in Sintra 

The history of Pena Palace dates back to the Middle Ages when an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared in the area. 

This led to the creation of Our Lady of Pena Chapel, which became an important pilgrimage site. 

Even King John II of Portugal and Queen Leonor visited it in 1493. 

Later, King Manuel I, inspired by his visit to Sintra, commissioned a monastery to be built alongside the chapel.

Over time, Pena became a peaceful place for meditation for nobles, but the monastery faced damage from lightning and the Great Lisbon Earthquake. 

Only the chapel remained until 1838, when King Ferdinand II of Portugal obtained the land and turned it into a summer residence for the royal family. 

The castle’s construction took twelve years and combined Medieval and Islamic influences, making it a colorful palace surrounded by a beautiful forest.

After King Ferdinand II died in 1885, the palace went through different ownerships until it was bought by the Portuguese government in 1889. 

It was declared a national monument in 1910 and became a museum with stunning interiors. 

This combination of history and beauty attracts millions of tourists to Sintra annually, especially since Pena Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Visitors can admire the palace’s colorful terraces, statues, lush parks, and monuments today. 

Secure your tickets early, as this Portuguese royal paradise is famous worldwide.

Pena Palace: A Quick Look at Its History

15th Century: When King Manuel I ruled in the 15th century, a monastery named Our Lady of Pena was built. 

This place was known for its peaceful setting and simple design.

18th Century: In the 18th century, the monastery wasn’t doing so well. Lightning and an earthquake in 1755 messed it up badly, leaving it in ruins.

19th Century: Fast forward to 1838, when King Ferdinand II, who was married to Queen Maria II of Portugal and originally from Germany, got hold of the ruined monastery and the land around it. 

He liked the idea of Romanticism, an artistic movement, and decided to turn the place into a fancy summer home for the royal family.

1842: In 1842, the Pena Palace was led by a German architect named Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege. 

The palace’s look was a mix of Romantic, Gothic, and Moorish styles, which showed the king’s artistic taste.

1854: After more than ten years of hard work, Pena Palace was finished in 1854. 

Finally, the royal family could enjoy their fantastic retreat in the Sintra Mountains.

20th Century: When the 20th century came around and Portugal had no king, Pena Palace became a public museum.

It became one of the most famous places to visit in Portugal.

1995: Recognizing their importance, Pena Palace and the surrounding area of Sintra were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. 

This meant that people from all over the world recognized its history and remarkable architecture.

Today: Pena Palace is a beautiful reminder of Portugal’s past and architecture. Lots of people come to visit every year to see its enchanting beauty.

Who Built Pena Palace?

Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege was the main architect of Pena Palace. He was a German mineralogist, mine engineer, and amateur architect. 

His job was to design and build a Romantic-style palace at the request of King Ferdinand II.

The construction took place between 1842 and 1854.

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What is the architecture of Sintra?

Sintra became the first center of European Romantic architecture in the 19th century. 

This was due to the efforts of King Ferdinand II, who was a great admirer of Romanticism. 

He turned a ruined monastery into a castle, which he called Pena National Palace.

And decorated it with elements from different architectural styles, including Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish, and Renaissance. 

Why is Pena Palace famous?

Pena Palace is famous for its stunning architecture, blending Romantic, Gothic, and Moorish styles. 

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which makes it one of Portugal’s most popular tourist attractions. 

Buy your tickets to the palace now!

Is Pena Palace worth it?

Yes, it is worth visiting the National Palace of Pena.

The palace is full of beautiful rooms, each decorated in a different style. You can see the royal dining room, the noble room, bedrooms, and a chapel. 

There is also a Pena Palace miniature model you can touch, feel, and explore—a great thing to do in Portugal with kids.

Why is Pena Palace yellow?

King Ferdinand II chose red and yellow because they were associated with royalty and power. The red color was also a reference to the Moorish influence in Portugal.

Originally painted in 1876, the palace lost its colors over time but was restored in 1994.

The restoration was done by experts who used historical documents and photographs to recreate the original colors.

Featured Image: Parquesdesintra(Facebook.com)

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