Quinta da Regaleira
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QUINTA DA REGALEIRA

Sometimes referred to as the Paláçio da Regaleira, or even Paláçio Monteiro dos Milhões after it's former owner the millionaire and visionary António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. The palatial villa was built between 1904 and 1910, during the final days of Portugal's monarchy, on the site of the property formerly belonging to the Barons of Regaleira, a family of wealthy merchants from Porto. António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro commissioned the Italian theatrical designer and architect Luigi Manini (1848-1936) to design the house. Manini had already proved his mastery of design and his adeptness of the Neo-Manueline style with his design of the Palace Hotel do Buçaco.

The four hectare estate, the palace and surrounding lush gardens, were totally transformed into a place full of mysticism, romance, wonder and magic. Found amongst the lakes, statues, grottoes and enigmatic constructions are hidden alchemical symbology, such as those evoked by the Freemasons, Templars and an esoteric medieval German ideology called Rosicrucianism. Since 2002 the house and estate have been classified as a National Monument and is being preserved by the CulturSintra foundation.

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THE HOUSE

Quinta da Regaleira

The main façade of the house which is characterised by Gothic turrets, gargoyles, capitals, Manueline motifs and the octagonal panoramic terrace. The palace consists of five floors; the ground floor, three upper floors and a basement. Entrance is gained through the courtyard opposite the coffee shop by the middle gate. One is introduced straight away to the extravagance of the site as you pass through the ornately carved porch made from Coimbra limestone.

The first room to be entered passed the main portal is the brightly lit octangular Dining Room which is dominated by the huge ornate fireplace and a statue of a woodsman. The decoration carries a hunting theme throughout from the Venetian mosaic floor to the carvings on the ceiling.

Across the corridor is the Renaissance Hall, the former drawing room, where subtle references to Carvelho Monteiro and his wife Perpetua Auguste are found within the decor. Look out for the chandeliers shaped like the Cross of the Order of Christ hanging from the ornate wooden ceiling. Also found on the ground floor is the King's room, once the billiards room which contains portraits of Portuguese monarchy. Running the length of the ground floor is the balcony.

Quinta da Regaleira - Dining Room

The first floor contains the family bedrooms and dressing room. As part of the master suit the Lusiad Room named after Luís Vaz de Camões' epic poem about Portugal's voyages of discovery. The octagonal turret occupying the southern corner of the second floor is inspired by the Templar Church of Tomar and the Temple of the Mount in Jerusalem which served as Carvalho Monteiro's study. On this floor too are the bedrooms of maids and store rooms.

The neo-gothic tower on the northern corner of the third floor houses a private office with a stairway to a laboratory and access to rooftop terraces. In true "upstairs and downstairs" fashion the basement levels are where the servant quarters, kitchen, scullery, ironing room, refectory and dumb waiter are located.

“City

Quinta da Regaleira; Private Tour with Ticket

Quinta da Regaleira; Private Tour with Ticket

After departure from your hotel we will make a pleasant private tour to the romantic village of Sintra. Quinta da Regaleira is one of the most amazing monuments. Situated near the historic centre of Sintra Village, with. -four hectares of lush gardens, lakes, caves and enigmatic buildings. After your unhurried visit we will visit the westernmost point of the European continent, Cabo da Roca, a magnificent and wild place raised to 140 meters above its cliffs. Free time to visit this place, with bar, wc, and shop.



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Sintra Palaces Tour with Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira

Sintra Palaces Tour with Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira

Discover the wonders of Lisbon during this full-day, small-group guided tour of Lisbon and Sintra. First, meet your friendly local guide in Lisbon and head by minivan to its top landmarks and the Belém neighbourhood, where you can catch sight of Monastery of Jeronimos. Learn about Lisbon's fascinating history and snap some memorable photos. Refuel by tasting traditional Portuguese dishes. Then, head to the beautiful village of Sintra. Stroll the scenic grounds of Quinta da Regaleira and Pena Palace before returning to Lisbon. This tour is limited to a small group for a personalised tour.

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Quinta da Regaleira and wine tasting - All Inclusive

Quinta da Regaleira and wine tasting - All Inclusive

Come and enjoy our Quinta da Regaleira and Wine Tasting tour in Sintra! Come visit with us the highest exponent of the mystical aura of the mountains, down the famous The Initiation Well. After lunch in Colares it is time to enjoy a magnificent wine tasting of the region that will conquer your palate. We will then board the charming tram which departs from Praia das Macas to bring you back to Sintra to enjoy the regional sweets. Finally, we will take you to your hotel by the Cascais road so you can enjoy beautiful breathtaking scenery.

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THE GROUNDS

The themes of the garden are based on various mystical and esoteric beliefs covering different epochs with such influences as Virgil, Dante, Templars, the Order of Christ and Freemasonry. A walk through the garden and it's various monuments, fountains, grottos, tunnels and towers is a metaphysical quest or initiation into the mysteries of the cosmos or perhaps, just a playground to suite Monteiro's whim… i'll let you decide.

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Quinta da Regaleira Chapel

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The Chapel

In front of the main house is the loverly chapel built in a Neo-manueline style from pure white stone. Inside there is a mix of christian and occultist imagery. There's images of Mary and Christ which sit alongside subtle Templar and Freemason symbology. The floor contains representations of the Portuguese armillary sphere and the Order of Christ cross, surrounded by pentagrams. A stained glass window shows a depiction of Dom Fuas Roupinho hunting a reindeer over a cliff. Below in the crypt is an entrance to a subterranean passage which leads to the basement of the main house.

Quinta da Regaleira Promenade of the Gods

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Promenade of the Gods

At the lower end of the garden is the Promenade of the Gods which is an avenue lined with replica statues of various classical gods and goddesses such as Orpheus, Venus, Hermes, Flora, Ceres, Pam, Volcan and Dionysus.

The latter goddess an important figure in Freemasonry and there are references to her throughout the estate. The avenue ends at the Pisões Loggia, an alternative entrance into the grounds with a statue of a lion.

Quinta da Regaleira Portal of the Guardians

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Portal of the Guardians

One of the many water features is the curious Portal of the Guardians which stands at one end of a courtyard. This long curved structure is flanked on each end by two towers with a central pavilion.

The centrepiece of the structure is an arch with a statue of two reptilian creatures holding a large sea shell. Inside the Portal of the Guardians is a hidden entrance to a tunnel leading to the Initiation Well.



The Initiation Well

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The Initiation Well

Not really a well but an inverted tower that descends/ascends 27 metres (88 ft) with a spiral staircase winding it's way around the perimiter which plays tricks on the senses. The true purpose of the well and it's intriguing name is unknown but tantalising clues can be found within it's symbolism. At the base the pattern on the floor is a compass overlaying a Templar Cross, thought to be Monteiro's coat of arms. The staircase contains nine platforms reminiscent the nine circles of Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine levels of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise.


The Unfinished Well

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The Unfinished Well

A second smaller "well" is found nearby, there is a tunnel that links the two. Known as the Unfinished Well it contains a series of straight staircases that join the ringed platforms, the spacing in-between which and the number of steps is said to have special Masonic significance. This well is much darker, damp, more claustrophobic and exudes an unnerving eeriness.






B. Greenhouse. This temple of Flora is a reflection of Carvalho Monteiro's fondness for botany. The panel of tiles on the façade depicts a group of priestesses conducting a fertility rite.

E. Arts Workshop. Originally this was the servants quarters along with a workshop and a generator which powered the whole estate. Now a venue for music rehearsals, art workshops and exhibitions.

F. Chimeras' Court. This terrace is now used for the seating area of the café.

G. Pisões Loggia. An ornately decorated loggia in the Neo-Manuline style lined with azulejo tiles which was used as an alternative entrance to the estate.

H. Balnearium Fountain. Located between the lion statue and the Gruta do Labirinto the Balnearium Fountain sadly has seen better days. Inbetween the two windows the central arch contains a mosaic depicting two herons.

I. Fountain of Regaleira. Also known as the Fountain of Abundance this ornate fountain is decorated in a Arabesque mosaic.

J. Regaleira Tower. A fairy tail turret with amazing views of the Sintra mountain and the Moorish Castle above.

AMENITIES

There's a fine café on site on a terrace behind the main house where you can have lunch or dine or simply have a cup of tea and appreciate the beautiful surroundings. There is also a comfortable dining room with seating for 30 people.

There are toilets in the café building and further up the hill behind the Arts Workshop.

The are few places to park at the Quinta da Regaleira, it's advised to park in the old town and either walk the pleasant mile to the site of take a taxi or the #435 bus from there.

Various Guided tours are available:  Website.

Audio Guides available: €3.00 each.

The topography of the gardens and age of the main house are unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Booking.com
Quinta da Regaleira

October to April, Daily: 09h30 - 18h00, (last admission at 17h00)

May to September, Daily: 09h30 - 20h00, (last admission at 19h00)


Adult: €6.00, Concessionary: €4.00 Infant 0-5 & OAP FREE.
Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 20% discount


Getting There

A short walk out of Sintra old town along the Rua Consiglieri Pedroso road (N375), turn left at the junction just past the Lawrences hotel. The main entrance is 200 metres on the left past the Fonte dos Pisões fountain on the left hand side.

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais. Once you have arrived in the town's historic centre, you'll see a vertical sign showing the way to Quinta da Regaleira.

The Scotturb bus #435 leaves from Sintra Train station or outside the Tourist Information office in the centre of old town Sintra to the Quinta da Regaleira on it's way to the Palace of Monserrate.

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Contact Details
Quinta da Regaleira, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal.
38° 47' 45.5"N | 09° 23' 44.45"W | +351 219 106 650
geral@culturSintra.pt |  Website