The Villa Sassetti is the perfect fusion of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, with architectural and landscape details reminiscent of other historic buildings in the Portuguese town. Its history began in 1885 when Victor Carlos Sassetti decided to build a summer house based on the castles of Lombardy. The result was a Mediterranean-inspired “villa”, thanks to the circular tower in Lombard Romanesque style, the terracotta tones, the Portuguese tiles, and the granite from the Sintra Mountains!
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!
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!
The Chalet of the Countess of Edla in Sintra was idealized by King Ferdinand II and Elise Hensler (his second wife) between 1864 and 1869. You can find it in the heart of the Pena Park, less than 2 km from the National Palace of Pena, the highest exponent of romantic architecture in Portugal. Designed in the style of alpine chalets, the Chalet of the Countess of Edla is a modest residence and a country retreat, which allowed the king and the countess to live far away from the Portuguese Court!
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!
Park Güell (in Catalan, Parc Güell) is an urban park designed by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. Besides, it’s one of 7 works by the architect distinguished as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The idea for the creation of Park Güell came from Eusebi Güell, who wanted to build a luxury condominium inspired by the English concept of “garden cities”. The initial project had 60 houses, streets, squares, and viaducts. However, the urbanization proved to be a failure and was converted into a public park!
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!
Do you want to visit the World Heritage in Central Portugal? From Tomar to Batalha, get ready to discover unique, beautiful, and jaw-dropping sites! The Central Region or Central Portugal is a region located in central Portugal and its capital is the city of Coimbra. In addition, it’s the third most populous region in the country and the second largest, encompassing the Castelo Branco, Coimbra, and Leiria districts, and part of the Aveiro, Guarda, Santarém, and Viseu districts!
Saint Peter’s Basilica is the largest and most important church in the Catholic religion. Located in Vatican City State (or Holy See, the seat of the Catholic Church), it’s one of the main pilgrimage centers in the world. Besides, it was built between the 16th and 17th centuries in the monumental Saint Peter’s Square and had the collaboration of some of the most renowned artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, such as Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Raffaello Sanzio, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini!
The Cerco Garden is a baroque garden located next to the Royal Building of Mafra. It has about 9 hectares and started out as a conventual fence, housing a formal garden, a botanical garden, and several leisure areas. With the extinction of the Religious Orders in 1834, the Cerco Garden became exclusive to the court. After having served as a Conventual Garden and a Court Garden for two centuries, the Cerco Garden opened to the public in 1910. And nowadays, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site!