Around 30 kilometres from Lisbon is the small historic Portuguese town of Sintra, where once, the rise and fall of an entire kingdom took place.
King John The First ordered construction of the Palácio Nacional De Sintra on the foundations of a Moorish construction that dated back to the 10th century. From the palace, there’s a beautiful view across the Vila Velha, Sintra’s old town. The Palácio Nacional De Sintra consists of a variety of architectural styles that include Moorish, Gothic and Manueline design.
Five hundred thirty metres above sea level, on the summit of the Sintra Mountains, the spectacular Palácio Nacional De Pena overlooks the town. At first sight, its towers resemble minarets, a symbol of a courageous and successful combination of numerous architectural traditions.
Three kilometres from the castle is the oldest building in Sintra, the towers and walls of a Moorish castle, the Castelo Dos Mouros. The thousand year old ruins are famous for their breathtaking views that extend for several kilometres across the landscape and even as far as the Atlantic Ocean. In 1147, King Afonso I and his army conquered the old fortress.
Sintra’s gardens are the most beautiful in Europe and due to the region’s unique climate, subtropical plants flourish in the fertile volcanic earth close to the Atlantic Ocean. Beneath the southern sun, Sintra’s historic architecture continues to blend harmoniously with the glorious splendor of nature.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.