08 June, 2018

Quinta da Regaleira Palace in Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic centre of Sintra, Portugal. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the "Cultural Landscape of Sintra". Along with the other palaces in the area such as the Quinta do Relógio, Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces, it is considered one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park that features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The palace is also known as "The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire", which is based on the nickname of its best known former owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro.

Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal. The city is a cultural and historic jewel of Portugal, visited by many tourists every day. Many architectural sites in the city, as well as Quinta da Regaleira, are included in UNESCO’s list.

A romantic palace and chapel were built between 1904 and 1910. The Romantic and Gothic styles blend well together. The five-storey palace is now open for public. A Roman Catholic Chapel fits the whole ensemble and yet is unusual: it has several floors and even pentagram decorations.

The Inverted Tower is a very unique underground tunnel, leading to a well. The spiral goes down to the labyrinths and secret gardens, where two artificial lakes and many fountains are found. Everything leaves the feeling of a fairy tale.

The estate definitely is a must see in Sintra. Once belonged to the Barons of Regaleira, designed by Italian architect Luigi Manini, today the enigmatic site is classified as a World Heritage Site.

If you wonder what is to live and walk in a fairy tale, this is your answer. In a setting that you will never imagine, in the middle of a magic town (Sintra), you will find what all the magic tales are about, what it used to be a hose for a family now is a true ode to architecture, creativity and nature. Surrounded by gardens and lookout, with a medieval stone, this house is actually above some of the more eclectic groups that connect all the property from beneath the surface. So be prepared to walk, and be amazed. Definitely worth your time and the effort to have pictures everywhere.

This is such an amazing place to visit, you can easily spend several hours exploring the labyrinth of underground tunnels. The grounds are beautiful (make sure you have plenty of space on your camera memory card!) and the house is quite interesting. There's a lot to see and do so it's quite good value too. Unlike a lot of the attractions in Sintra, this is quite an easy walk from the station.

This is what your child needs you to revisit. The castle itself looks very foreboding with its gothic exterior however its interior just gets better and better as you move through the rooms till you are treated to a wonderful ornate interior with coloured glass chandeliers (very French looking). The treat of this palace, however, is in the gardens. This is where the true magic begins. If you are an intrepid explorer follow the paths and you will find underground grottos and caves leading out to rockpools with stepping stones and bridges across. There are two wells (not water filled but manmade) for your exploration and you can walk down the many steps from the top and stand in the bottom and glance upwards. From the top, if you look down be prepared for a deep hole! The rest of the gardens are vast with plenty of lush vegetation as well as granite structures with waterfalls. You could spend many fantasy hours here.
The Quinta da Regaleira or "the house of the philosof" is built back in 1848. It was owned by a guy who made a fortune on coffee and diamonds in Brazil, and he obviously used some of them to build this palace. Magnificent!

  • Fadista Mariza shot her video for "Cavaleiro Monge" at the palace and its surrounding grounds.
  • Quinta da Regaleira is referenced in José Rodrigues dos Santos' book Codex 632.
  • The larger of the two Initiation Wells appears at the end of a video for the song "The Living End" by Portuguese band Ava Inferi.

Enjoying delicious lunch before heading to see Quinta da Regaleira Palace.

This stone wall was a revolving door. Of course, now it is jammed and does not move.

The Initiation Wells (AKA initiatic wells or inverted towers) are two wells on the property that better resemble underground towers lined with stairs. These wells never served as water sources. Instead, they were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites. The tunnels described above connect these wells to one another, in addition to various caves and other monuments located around the park. Of the two wells, the larger one contains a 27-meter spiral staircase with several small landings. The spacing of these landings, combined with the number of steps in the stairs, are linked to Tarot mysticism. The smaller well contains straight stairs that connect a series of ring-shaped floors to one another. This well is also called the 'Unfinished Well'. A structure similar to these wells can be found in the Pozzo di S. Patrizio in Italy.

Bodies of water can be found in several places in the park. Two artificial lakes and several fountains were added by Monteiro. One of the most interesting and extravagant among them is the Aquarium, built as if it were naturally embedded in a large boulder. It was once considered the most important naturalist property in Regaleira. However, the Aquarium is no longer used and is poorly maintained.

The park also contains an extensive and enigmatic system of tunnels, which have multiple entry points that include: grottoes, the chapel, Waterfall Lake, and "Leda's Cave," which lies beneath the Regaleira Tower. The "Initiation Well" (see next section) connects to other tunnels via a series of underground walkways.

The Regaleira Palace (Portuguese: Palácio da Regaleira) bears the same name as the entire estate. The structure's façade is characterized by exuberantly Gothic pinnacles, gargoyles, capitals, and an impressive octagonal tower.
The palace contains five floors (a ground floor, three upper floors, and a basement). The ground floor consists of a series of hallways that all connect the living room, dining room, billiards room, balcony, some smaller rooms, and several stairways. In turn, the first upper floor contains bedrooms and a dressing room. The second upper floor contains Carvalho Monteiro's office and the bedrooms of female servants. The third upper floor contains the ironing room and a smaller room with access to a terrace. Finally, the basement contains the male servants' bedrooms, the kitchen (which featured an elevator for lifting food to the ground floor), and storage rooms.

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