We have no doubt that Sintra should be in your top ten must visit places on earth. To be honest, you should definitely visit it at least a few times in your life.
As one of the most popular day trips from the Portuguese capital, Sintra has a cluster of beguiling attractions to explore.
With its rich vegetation , romantic scenery, wild landscapes and 19th century romantic architecture- it is an absolute gem. Once the royal town of the country, it now holds UNESCO world heritage status and attracts hordes of visitors throughout the year.
In the 19th century Sintra became the first centre of European Romantic architecture. However, you can find many other styles of architecture such as the most famous National Palace
The gigantic, whitewashed Palace and its two conical chimneys dominate Sintra’s main square. Starting life in the 10th century as home to Lisbon’s Moorish rulers, the palace has been consistently remodeled throughout its thousand-year-plus history. Now it is a breathtaking mishmash of Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline styles in appearance.
Another stunning example is Moors Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) . It is a ruinous castle that is set amidst the lush forests of the Serra De Sintra . It was established in the 9th century by the North African Moors to guard the town, but it fell into disrepair after the Christian conquest of Portugal.
King Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a romantic castle where this new sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees.
In fact Ferdinand II transformed the whole region of Sintra. He was a king obsessed by art, drama and the good life – he romanticised the middle ages and ordered the reconstruction of the castle. The castle was reconstructed so as to be viewed from his beloved Pena Palace, while the grounds were designed for areas for contemplation and relaxation.
The Pena Palace is another stunning building. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth.
Through the years the town has attracted to those drawn to the fantastical such as the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, who called the town the “most beautiful place in Portugal.
In fact he loved it so much he decided to visit it often and you as a tourist can still see and visit a little house he lived in during his trips.
It was during that time he was able to get some inspiration for his stories and fairy-tailes. We can almost imagine our dear Andersen visiting Sintra’s green parks and admiring the diverse vegetation, walking through the narrow streets feeling the breeze on his cheeks, visiting small cafes sipping the best coffee , admiring the wild landscape and some of the beautiful castles and buildings you could read about earlier .
Some of the quotes from Hans Christian Andersen about his visits to Sintra:
“(…) The most beautiful and celebrated part of Portugal is undoubtedly Sintra. Byron named it ‘The new paradise’. The Portuguese poet Garrett sings ‘Here Spring has its throne’. We were headed there now.”
“(…) It is said that every foreigner can find something of his homeland in Sintra. I found Denmark there.”
“There was a tremendous variety and exuberance in the landscape. There was laurel with its dark red fruit, geraniums growing in great bushes and fuchsia the size of trees.”
“D. Fernando’s summer palace is different, more beautiful and picturesque. It is built high up and overlooks the whole region.
“(…) The way up to the top of the hill is a garden where nature and art complement each other wonderfully. It’s the most beautiful walk imaginable.”
If you would like to discover Sintra and get some inspiration just the way Hans Christian Andersen did….then why not host your event here?
We will help you and suggest the best venues, hotels and tour operators to look after you.
Contact us today and tell us all about your dream event or wedding!!!
Warm thanks to the Abreu DMC office in Lisbon for the recent trip organised.
Find out more about them and the trips they offer: firstname.lastname@example.org