In the 8th century, an Alcázar was built by the Moors, which was expanded after the conquest of Dom Afonso Henriques in 1147. King Dom Dinis had the complex expanded into a summer residence in the 14th century. King Dom Manuel I traveled to Andalusia in 1498 and brought azulejos with him, and green inner courtyards were laid out in the Moorish style. The Palácio Nacional de Sintra is a group of buildings that is dominated by two conical, white chimneys in the kitchen wing. From 1580 Sintra lost its importance as a summer residence because Portugal was ruled from Spain. Only Donna Maria II and her husband Ferdinand von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha came back to Sintra and built a new castle for themselves in 1838. This turned the Palácio Nacional de Sintra into the Palácio da Vila, the hardly used city palace. This neglect had the advantage that the palace was largely preserved in its 15th century state.
The Palacio da Pena is a wild mix of styles from all eras. The fantasy castle was built in 1885 by Fernando II, the German prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who married Queen Maria II of Portugal. The Palacio da Pena was built on the highest mountain in Sintra. The architect of the fairytale castle was the German architect Wilhelm Baron von Eschwege. An old monastery from 1511, which was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, was integrated into the castle. The name Palácio da Pena means "Palace of Punishment". In 1910 King Manuel II had to flee Portugal and went into exile in London. The Portuguese monarchy ended this way. The Palácio da Pena was only used for a short time.
From Sintra train station, bus 434 goes to the entrance of the Palácio da Pena.
From Lisbon to Sintra
The city of Sintra is located around 20 km north-west of Lisbon. There are daily trains to Sintra from Lisboa-Rossio train station. Trains run about every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. The journey time is approx. 30-40 minutes, depending on how many stops are served. The single trip costs € 2.25 (as of Feb. 2018) and can be debited from the "Viva Viagem" card, which can also be used to pay for local transport in Lisbon. The Lisbon day pass is not valid on this route.
Current timetables and prices can be found at www.cp.pt/passageiros/pt