Tourist and resident information on Portugal, Madeira and The Azores

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Pena Palace and Gardens (Palácio da Pena)

Palácio da Pena

Pena Palace in the town of Sintra is famous as Europe's most Romantic-style castle - which is of little surprise, considering that its present state dates from the mid-19th century when Romanticism was at its height.

The palace dates back to a 14th century chapel


Pena Palace began in the 14th century as a small chapel built on a hill, dedicated to Our Lady of Pena. Years later, St. Jerome’s monastery was added. In the 18th century, the monastery was first struck by lightning, and then, more seriously, by the 1755 Great Lisbon Earthquake. The chapel, by contrast, survived virtually intact.

Statue of Triton at the palace

Summer Residence

The king consort in the mid-19th century, Ferdinand II, was a German by birth. He was charmed and fascinated by this little chapel and the ghostly ruins of the monastery so acquired the site and set out rebuilding what had been the old monastery as a royal summer residence.

The palace walls in the mist


The job of designing the new palace was given to the amateur German architect, Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege, and construction took place from 1842 to 1854. King Ferdinand and Queen Maria II also had extensive say in the design. The vault arches and the Islamic and Medieval aspects of the design are among the features ordered by the royal couple.

The palace is a mix of different architectural styles

Architecturally it is a potpourri of styles spanning many continents and ages from Gothic, to Renaissance, to Moorish. Highlights include the Manueline cloister, the bedroom of Ferdinand II, the chambers of King Carlos, and the dining room and pantry.


Pena Park was created around the Palace at the same time. Ferdinand II's vision for the park was a blend of wild tropical forests and the grand woods of Germany. So, like the Palace, it is an eclectic, but wonderfully integrated, construct of flora from all over the world, including North America, China, Japan, and, for fern and tree ferns, Australia and New Zealand.

The romantic palace in Sintra

It became the property of the Portuguese State in 1889, and a national monument after the 1910 Republican Revolution.

A royal fantasy in stone

The photos from this visit to Pena Palace and Gardens were taken on a rainy day, which, with the soft mysteriousness of the muted colors and darkened corners, captures the inspiration behind the royal fantasy that gave birth to this magical site in Sintra.

Access & Hours

Estrada da Pena
2710-609 Sintra
Tel: 21 923 73 00

The palace opens from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm; the park is open from 9 am to 7 pm.

There are reductions with the Lisboa Card.

From Sintra Station take the 434 (Scotturb) bus.

Book tickets for the palace and gardens with Tiqets

Pena Palace, Sintra

More on Sintra

Azenhas do Mar

Castle of the Moors

National Palace

Quinta da Regaleira

Lisbon Palaces

Pena Palace
Pena Palace

Stay in Sintra

The four-star Pestana Hotel offers a golf course and outdoor pool.

Tivoli Sintra Hotel, also four-star, has well-appointed guest rooms and superb views complete with a recommended restaurant and bar.

With three stars the VIP Inn Miramonte Hotel has an outdoor pool and games room.

See a complete listing of hotels and guesthouses in Sintra.

Sintra Map

©  Portugal

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