The Pena National Palace in Sintra is part of a collective UNESCO world heritage site, which includes the National Palace (which I posted about last week) and indeed all of Sintra, which is sort of a beautiful vacation area for the Portuguese nobility who built many 19th century Romantic era buildings in the area.
The Pena Palace sits upon a hill above the village of Sintra, where a convent, Our Lady of Pena once stood, hence the current Pena Palace's name. Our guide during our trip kept referring the building as the "Penis-Palace." He told us, "You know, it's where the families that didn't want their daughters to get married put them; hence it is called the Penis Palace." It took us quite a long time to figure out that he meant "Penance Palace." I believe that Pena in Portuguese, like in Spanish sort of means shame or penance. In any case, we were not disappointed by the showcasing of this guy's little man-gina:
The above guy is depiction of King Ferdinand II, who suffered from a low genetic diversity common in European aristocracy.
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As you walk up the hill to the palace (or pay 3 euros to take a very packed bus up to it), you see an eclectic group of Romantic era stylings.
Since the palace was built 19th century, the principal use of the building was not defensive, but for pleasure.
The palace was initially a nunnery, but it was destroyed by lightning, the great 1755 earthquake that destroyed much of Lisbon, and the general wrath of god, who has shown himself to be a dick many times over.
In any case, it was the wet dream of King-Consort Ferdinand II to turn the convent into a pleasure palace for many years, so his wife acquired the property and surrounding lands to keep her husband busy while she ruled during her day job.
King Ferdinand II of Portugal sired (with help of Queen Maria 2.0) the next two Kings of Portugal, Pedro who died shortly after of typhoid fever and Luis who would reign until his natural death.
The Palace has is a whimsical collection of many different styles and colors.
While beautiful far away, I thought the palace looks a tad run-down close up.
It addition it seemed more in keeping with the stylings of a theme-park than a 19th century palace.
Still, you see some great gargoyles:
I have to admit that if there wasn't the scaffolding, the Palace would be impressive.
They have many styles like Neo-Islamic architecture:
I guess this is Neo-Gothic:
You can see the building gets a little cluttered.
In the above photo, you can see some dick that was upset with his kid and threatened to throw him off (bottom left- click to zoom).
You can run into the warmer parts of the castle, and see some of the beautiful Royal posessions:
The Chapel that remained after the earthquake:
Well thank you all for reading my Lisbon posts, which I have finished up! Next week I am going to start posts from Portos, a truly beautiful city north of Lisbon, also home to the delicious Port!
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