Castles and Palaces

Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Castel Sant’Angelo (which in Italian means “Castle of the Holy Angel”) was once a mausoleum, a fortress, a prison, and even a papal residence. Nowadays, it’s a national museum, an archaeological site, and one of the main monuments in the historic center of Rome, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. The Castel Sant’Angelo opened in 1901, with an exhibition of artifacts found in excavations. And since then, it has attracted thousands of tourists from all over the world!

Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Vianden Castle is one of the most beautiful feudal residences in Europe and a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Located in a homonymous town and commune in northern Luxembourg, the Vianden Castle was built between the 11t and 14th centuries to house the Counts of Vianden. But after a few centuries, the monument was left abandoned. Fortunately, Grand Duke Jean donated the medieval fortress to the Luxembourg State in 1977, which restored and returned it to its former glory!

National Palace of Sintra

National Palace Of Sintra: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The National Palace of Sintra is the most important palace in Portugal, as it was the residence of almost all the country’s monarchs. On top of that, it’s the oldest Portuguese palace of all, with origins dating back to the Arab occupation of this region! In addition to dozens of halls, corridors, and rooms, the National Palace of Sintra is made up of numerous patios, galleries, and gardens. And brace yourself: this guide is probably the longest and most complete I’ve ever published on my blog!

Castelo dos Mouros

Moorish Castle: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Moorish Castle is not only one of the best-preserved castles in Portugal but also the one with the best views. So, if you’re thinking about visiting Sintra, you should read this guide! Constructed in the 10th century during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, the Moorish Castle enjoyed a very strategic location, on one of the highest peaks of the Sintra Mountains. However, the fortress was conquered by King Afonso Henriques in 1147, thus becoming part of the Kingdom of Portugal!

Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra

Quinta Da Regaleira In Sintra: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra is a must-visit monument for architecture, landscaping, and mysticism lovers. And did you know that the property hides mystical structures, magical sceneries, and alchemical symbols linked to Freemasonry, the Templars, and the Rosicrucian Order? Built at the end of the 19th century, the Quinta da Regaleira is made up of a luxurious palace and an enigmatic garden, which reflect the interests of its owner: the millionaire António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro!

National Palace of Pena

National Palace Of Pena: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

When people ask me what to do in Lisbon, I always suggest spending a 1 or 2 in Sintra, the land of enchanted palaces! The National Palace of Pena is the king of them all, with endless panoramic views and colors reminiscent of Disneyland castles. In addition to having been elected one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal, the Pena Palace is considered the first romantic palace in Europe. For that reason, it was the inspiration for other historic buildings, including the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria!

Sabugal Castle

Sabugal Castle: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Sabugal Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Portuguese Gothic architecture. It’s located in the city and municipality of Sabugal (in the Guarda district) – a territory that belonged to the Kingdom of León until 1297, the year in which King Dinis signed the Treaty of Alcañices. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Sabugal Castle served as the headquarters for Portuguese and English soldiers, who managed to prevent the advance of French troops led by General André Masséna!

Doge's Palace of Venice

Doge’s Palace Of Venice: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Doge’s Palace of Venice (or Palazzo Ducale di Venezia) is one of the most stunning monuments in Italy. Also known as the Ducal Palace, it’s considered a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture! The Doge’s Palace of Venice was built in the 14th and 15th centuries to serve as the residence of the Doge – the leader and first magistrate of the Republic of Venice. And in the 16th century, it continued to be renovated, receiving decorative elements typical of the Renaissance and Mannerism!

Palace of Monserrate

Palace Of Monserrate: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

The Palace of Monserrate is one of the many existing palaces in Sintra, Portugal. And although it’s not as visited as the famous National Palace of Pena, the Palace of Monserrate is well worth a visit! This estate is the perfect example of Romanticism in Portugal and what eclectic life would have been like in the 19th century. In addition, its “exotic” architecture mixes Gothic, Indian, and Moorish influences, blending perfectly with a botanical park where species from all over the world grow!

Alhambra of Granada

Alhambra Of Granada: Best Tips For Visiting In 2023

Did you know that the Alhambra of Granada is the most visited attraction in Spain? The monumental complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and includes the Generalife Palace & Gardens, the Alcazaba, the Nasrid Palaces, and the Partal Palace & Gardens. 10 years later, the classification was extended to the historic district of Albayzín, which offers the best views over the Alhambra. Discover all the history in this travel guide, with tips about opening hours, prices, and accesses!

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