National Palace of Sintra
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NATIONAL PALACE OF SINTRA

Located within the historical centre of Sintra, also known as São Martinho, the palace is the town's centre of activity and stands out from miles arounds by it's distinctive chimneys. The National Palace of Sintra's predates Portugal itself and dates back to the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula and is mentioned in texts from a thousand years ago in the 11th Century. After the conquest of the area by Portugal's first christian King, Dom Afonso Henriques, in 1147 it became property of the Portuguese Crown. The first alterations to the palace began in 1281 during the reign of King Dinis, during which time the first extensions we added. Subsequent additions took place during the reigns of the kings João I and Manuel I who left their own stamp of this incredible structure. Yet since the 16th century the palace has seen very little change. The whole structure maintains an arabesque demeanour found within it's decretive wall tiles, interior courtyards, the use of fountains and use of light through the many ornate windows. The National Palace of Sintra is the benchmark of subsequent Portuguese architectural styles and epitomises the cultural influence which has shaped Portugal itself.

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NATIONAL PALACE IN THE MIDDLE AGES

National Palace of Sintra - Middle Ages

The Arab geographer Al-Bakrî mentions two extremely solid-looking castles in Sintra in the 11th century. These refer to the Castle which overlooks the region atop the Monte da Lua and the National Palace as part of the medina district. The Palace was home to the Islamic Moorish Taifa of Lisbon, rulers of the region. Following the conquests of Santarém and Lisbon in 1147 by Alfonso Henrique's armies the Palace and Town fell into Christian hands.

In a Royal Charter dated 1281, King Dinis employed Moorish artisans from Christianised Colares to maintain the upkeep of the palace. Following the Christian conquest Lisbon became the headquarters of the central power yet Sintra with it's close proximity to the capital, mild climate and good hunting grounds made a great retreat for the early Portuguese royals. King Dinis who reigned from 1279 to 1325 AD showed particular interest in the Sintra Palace after the territory of the new Portuguese state had been established. His private quarters were located at the highest point of the edifice, to the north, next to the Palatine Chapel, which had been built at his orders. This chapel still survives today and is one of the oldest parts of the palace.

A period a substantial transformations and enlargements date from the period of King João I which started in 1415. The Palace was extended and made more regal and placing the royal apartments being placed around the Central Patio – known as the Ala Joanina (João's Wing). Other additions included the The Swan Room (Sala dos Cisnes) built in the Manueline style with numerous swans painted on the ceiling. The Magpie Room (Sala das Pegas); the magpies (pegas) painted on the ceiling and the frieze hold the emblem por bem (for honour) in their beaks, and the Arab Room (Sala dos Árabes). The most notable external features of the building constructed in the time of King João is its main façade, which faces the town, with it's entrance arches and the mullioned windows in Manueline and Moorish styles (called ajimezes) along with the distinctive the conical chimneys of the kitchen.

NATIONAL PALACE IN THE 16th CENTURY

The next significant building campaign accured during the reign of King Manuel I who rule Portugal from 1497 and 1530 during the earliest years of the great Age of Discovery. King Manuel was able to use the wealth gain from Portugal's first expeditions and construct in a new architectural style which exhibited the countyry's new worldly status and importance. This new confidant style encompassed Gothic, Renaissance and Mudéjar influences which was later named after the King – Manueline. The King ordered the construction of the so-called Ala Manuelina (Manuel's Wing), to the right of the main façade, decorated with typical Manueline windows. He also built the Coats-of-Arms Room (Sala dos Brasões) (1515–1518), with a magnificent wooden coffered domed ceiling decorated with 72 coats-of-arms of the King and the main Portuguese noble families. The coat-of-arms of the Távora family was however removed after their conspiracy against king Joseph I. King Manuel also redecorated most rooms with polychromed tiles specially made for him in Seville. These azulejo tile panels bear Islamic motifs and lend an Arab feeling to many of the rooms inside.

ONLINE TICKET | With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the National Palace of Sintra, at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…

Sala dos Brasões
Private Sintra Tour from Lisbon with Wine Tasting and National palace of Sintra

Private Sintra Tour from Lisbon with Wine Tasting and National palace of Sintra

Spend the day immersed in the fairytale town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during this private tour. Stop at Queluz Palace, stroll through the beautiful Sintra National Palace, climb the ancient steps of the Moorish Castle and more. After you’ve had your fill of Sintra, enjoy a wine tasting in Colares then drive down the Atlantic coast stopping in Cascais on the way back to Lisbon.


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Sintra - Through Palaces and Royal Gardens Private Day Tour

Sintra - Through Palaces and Royal Gardens Private Day Tour

Walk the same steps as royalty through palaces and gardens on this full-day private guided tour of Sintra from Lisbon. Discover how aristocrats lived lavishly during the 19th century as you explore the UNESCO-listed town of Sintra and the lush surrounding landscapes. You will marvel at the combination spectacular Romanticist style architecture and pristine gardens designed for Portuguese kings on this fantastic voyage.

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Sintra, Palace Ticket & Wine Tasting

Sintra, Palace Ticket & Wine Tasting

Departing directly from your accommodation we will make a pleasant and completely private tour to the Romantic town of Sintra, via the Cascais and Estoril Coast taking in along the way it's culture, history, monuments and places of interest. Included in this tour are the tickets to the Jardim and Palácio da Pena, as well as regional wine tasting at the Colares Winery. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide and driver who will provide you with the necessary information. The tour takes at least 8 hours.

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RECENT TIMES AT THE NATIONAL PALACE OF SINTRA

National Palace Sintra

Over the subsequent centuries very little of the Palace has changed. The most significant event was the imprisonment of the mentally unstable King Afonso VI, who was deposed by his brother Pedro II and forced to live without leaving the residence from 1676 until his death in 1683. During the 1755 earthquake the Palace suffered limited damage. most notably the tower over the Arab Room, which collapsed. At the end of the 18th century, Queen Maria I redecorated and redivided the rooms of the Ala Manuelina.

During the 19th century, Sintra became again a fashionable spot for Royalty and the Palace of Sintra was frequently inhabited. Queen Amélia, in particular, was very fond of the palace and made several drawings of it. After the foundation of the Republic, in 1910, it became a national monument. In the 1940s, it was restored by architect Raul Lino, who tried to return it to its former splendour by adding old furniture from other palaces and restoring the tile panels. It has been an important historical tourist attraction ever since.

Daily: 09h30 - 19h00, (last admission at 18h00)
Adult: €10.00, Concessionary: €8.50. Family €33.00, Infant 0-3 FREE. | Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 10% discount

ONLINE TICKET | With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the National Palace of Sintra, at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…

AMENITIES AT THE NATIONAL PALACE OF SINTRA

There are a number of eateries in close proximity to the National Palace.

The are on-site public toilets.

Limited parking spaces in front of the Palace, likely to be full. Recommend using the carparks next to the Museu Anjos Teixeira lower down the hill.

Scheduled guided tours at 10h30 & 14h30. To book a private tour: info@parquesdeSintra.pt
+351 219 237 300

Due to a flight of steps at the main façade the accessible entranceway is by the kitchen at the side. Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented in certain rooms, adapted WC in the Manueline Room, 3D tactile models.

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TRAVELLING TO THE NATIONAL PALACE OF SINTRA

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais

The Scotturb buses #434 & #435 leaves from Sintra Train station and takes you to the Old Town Sintra.

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Contact Details
2710-405 Sintra, Portugal.
38° 47' 50.5"N | 09° 23' 25.9"W | +351 219 237 300
info@parquesdeSintra.pt |  Website

The Sintra Bus Route Map