Considered one of the "Seven Wonders of Portugal", the Palace of Pena sits on a hill overlooking the town of Sintra. According to local tradition, during the Middle Ages, King Manuel I commissioned the construction of a chapel and monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Pena because of a vision of the Virgin Mary. Once completed, he donated it to the monks of the order of St. Jerome. During the early part of the 18th century, the monastery was severely damaged by a lightning strike. However, the 1755 earthquake caused much more damage. For several decades, the ruined monastery remained abandoned. In 1838, Prince Ferdinand acquired the property and transformed it into a palace to serve as a summer home for the royal family. Fifty years later, it was bought by the Portuguese state and classified as a National Monument. Today, in addition to serving as a museum, the Palace is used for State occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic. The 1995 declaration of Sintra as a UNESCO World Heritage Site included the Palace of Pena.
The Palace of Pena was once a monastery for the monks of the Order of St. Jerome until Prince Ferdinand bought it and transformed it into a royal summer palace.
This very colorful building is thought to be one of the "Seven Wonders of Portugal."
Even the main entrance has a unique style.
Surprisingly, the original Chapel was the only part of the complex not damaged by the1755 earthquake and the earlier lightning strike.
We are constantly amazed by the opulance put into even the central hallways of the palaces we've visited...
...or in the "simple" drawing rooms (we wish our own living room had been so elegant ... but we didn't win the lottery, so...)
Now THIS is a music room!
We had a lovely visit...
...exploring the palace...
...but we were disappointed that we were not invited to lunch....oh well!
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.