So far, we’ve only spent one day in Sintra, making inroads on a single palace, the National Palace of Sintra. The Palace dates from the 14th century and has been updated and remodeled over the centuries. The ceilings appear the oldest style, painted boards, yet what boards! There are magpies,  swans, mermaids and a fleet of sailing ships.

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Later, ceilings were carved and gilded, and walls covered with tile.

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5.8.16 Sintra-010Furnishings were elaborate.

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The exterior was as decorative as the interior.

5.8.16 Sintra-006The vast kitchen is in the process of being restored.

5.8.16 Palacio Sintra-011smHaving completed our tour, we admired the exterior that features two large chimneys from the kitchen.

The two kitchen chimneys are in the rear in this photo.

The two kitchen chimneys are in the rear in this photo.

That leaves us with the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros), just above Sintra

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Then there’s the Palacio Nacional de Pena,

Palacio da Pena, Portugal-General view of the castle

the castle in the Parque de Monserrate,

monserrate5-claudia-almeidaand nearby, the Palacio de Mafra.

palacio_mafra2On the way back toward Lisbon is the Palacio de Queluz.

Palacio-Nacional-de-QueluzThat’s a LOT of palaces, and will take several days to visit. You could easily spend a day at each one. Palace overload comes on pretty rapidly considering each of these is enormous and most are full of Portuguese tile, sculpture, architecture, and gardens in addition to objects from Europe and former Portuguese possessions, especially Goa.

Portugal, land of castles, especially around Sintra.

Here’s a surprising piece of tile work that we saw in the Palacio Nacional in Sintra. It’s a bit ahead of Escher.

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