The Portuguese Palace of Sintra

Sintra is one of Portugal's most visited (and Instagram featured) tourist destinations! 

A triumph of Romanticist architecture, the town is stocked-full of areas to explore: palaces, ruins, historic estates, villas, gardens, cafes, and Michelin star restaurants.

* And from this view, we can see why Sintra is one of the Iberian peninsula's most sought after real estate markets; home of some of the wealthiest people in the European continent!

* The National Palace of Sintra is at the heart of this charming town; serving as the Portuguese royal residence from the 15th to 19th Century.

* Originally a Moorish castle during the Al-Andalus era of Iberia (Spain and Portugal), the National Palace was build to house the Muslim rulers of the region of Lisbon.

* When the Christians reconquered Iberia, they repurposed and improved upon all the castles built by the Muslims, with Sintra being repurposed into the royal home of King Afonso I of Portugal.

* Hence the blend of Moorish, Gothic, Manueline, and Mudejar styles throughout the palace. 

* The Sala das Pegas is known for its over one hundred sketches of magpies (a kind of bird) throughout the room, signifying the number of ladies at court; ordered painted by King John I who was quite the ladies man.

* That's a sturdy (and aesthetic) headboard!

* Behold the Golden Globe / Marble / Bowling Ball!

* Monday Mood.

* If tapestries could only speak their amazing tales.

* The Sala dos Brasoes was the highlight of my visit to the National Palace.

* Referred to as the Coat-of-Arms Room, the Sala sits under this amazing multi-layer ceiling decorated with the coat-of-arms of the Portuguese royal family and other noble families!

* And its walls are adorned with graphic and vivid azulejos, a trademark decorative style throughout Portugal. 

* Like most palaces throughout Europe, Sintra's royal chapel plays an integral role and position in the layout of the property.

* What a fancy fountain / hound water dispenser / foot washer!

* Easy now, children!

* Medieval buffets rock! Please cue for the omelettes.

* Like most royal households, the National Palace went through continuing periods of expansion, addition, and renovation as each succeeding King came to live in it.

* For those who want even more romantic / dramatic views, the ruins of the fabled Castle of the Moors is a hike away and very much worth the photo ops for the Gram!

* And finally for those who can spend a few more hours in Sintra, the Peña Palace is a MUST visit. A favorite for fairy-tale lovers everywhere, the Palace is fantasy personified. Will definitely come back for an in-depth visit someday!


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