Sintra – Pena National Palace

While we were in Sintra we were also taken to the Palácio Nacional da Pena which is on the top of a hill above the town. Apparently it can be seen from Lisbon on a clear day.

This Palace is like no others we have seen.

It is a national monument and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. 

The palace’s history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Later, King Manuel I, ordered the construction of a monastery on the site. In the 18th century the monastery was severely damaged by lightning and then by the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, reducing the monastery to ruins but the chapel was not significantly damaged. For many decades the ruins remained untouched, but in 1838 King Ferdinand II decided to acquire the old monastery, and transformed the remains into a palace that would serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family. The last queen of Portugal, Queen Amélia, spent her last night at the palace before leaving the country in exile. 

When we visited the whole palace was in the clouds, it was raining and it was starting to get dark, which was an awesome atmosphere and lots of fun for the kids.

  

   

The outside of the Palace is very colourful and like something from a fairytale.

  
    
    

The inside is also pretty special.

   

  

  

  

     
  

 

That last photo is the chapel, unfortunately this is where Tess suddenly and quite wholeheartedly vomited all over the floor. Despite having been so happy and full of energy all day this was her turning point. It was about 5:30pm, almost exactly 24 hours since our flight from London in which the little girl infront of us had vomited many times, and it seems Tess picked up the tummy bug. From this point on poor Tess was pretty much out for the count for the rest of our time in Portugal. We left the Palace at 6pm but then had about 340km to drive to Porto in two cars, which between the vomiting and rain took over five hours and we arrived around midnight. Poor Tess, we felt so sorry for her and for poor Luana, they had both been waiting three weeks just to play together and Tess was completely out of it for two out of the three days. The next day Ari and Skye got the bug although not quite as bad, but they were both still being sick on the 300km drive back to Lisbon the day before we left. On the morning we got in the car at the hotel to drive to the  airport Tess was finally out of her slumber and the first thing she said was “Are we going to  Luana’s now?” Poor little thing. Then we heard from Rute that after we left Luana got the same bug. Poor kids and Skye, it’s awful being sick when travelling. Luckily everyone has recovered now and Luana was well in time for their flight to Norway.

Stay tuned, our last couple of days in Portugal was not all doom and gloom 🇵🇹

 
  

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