If you’ve ever looked up “Sintra,” chances are that you’ve come across photos of this brightly colored building. I mean, it’s a little difficult to miss, given that its walls are a mixture of blue, yellow, red, and azulejos, set against the bright blue of the sky and the deep green of the surrounding mountain tops.
This is the Palácio da Pena.
This extravaganza is the handiwork of the German architect Ludwig Von Eschewege, who was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, his travels through Asia and Africa, and the architecture elsewhere in Portugal. It was commissioned by Fernando II to replace the ruins originally at the site (those of a monastery, abandoned by its monks to move to the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos) as a gift for his wife, Queen Maria II of Portugal.
Since it sits perched atop one of the tallest mountains in Sintra, the views are undeniably stunning.
You can actually see the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Cristo Rei off in the distance in this picture!
Its interior is no less magnificent, as it has been restored to reflect its interior decoration at the beginning of the 20th century.
The palace is surrounded by extensive grounds — the Parque da Pena — which covers an area of over 200 hectares, and includes trees brought in from all around the world.