Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace figures in the list of seven wonders of Portugal; one look at the flamboyant palace and we knew why! The bright colors and amazing stone carvings take you to a different world! The 3 hours we spent there watching the splendor and grandness left us dazed.

Pena Palace Indrani

History of Pena Palace

It is always good to know a little history! Town of Sintra is mentioned in texts that it existed from the times of Muslim occupation of the region. The Moorish Palace that existed here was taken over by the first King of Portugal in 1147. In 1493 a monastery was built by King John II. Wiki mentions – “For centuries Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation, housing a maximum of eighteen monks.” The 1755 earthquake reduced the monastery to ruins. The chapel however continued to stand strong with out much damage. In 1838 Ferdinand II acquired old monastery, all of the surrounding lands, the nearby Castle of the Moors and a few other estates in the area. Ferdinand II transformed the monastery into a palace. This Pena Palace became the summer residence for the Portuguese royal family.

bedroom Pena PalaceCurios Pena Palace

Walk from Entrance

After we got off the town bus there was one more bus that takes you up the hill and down for 1.50 euros per head. We preferred to walk uphill. The path took us through the beautiful park surrounding the palace. Most of the trees were labeled. The park has a collection of 2000 different species of trees. Keep your tickets safe, they are checked at a couple of places inside.

We were greeted by ferocious looking half fish, half man statue. Once inside we crossed rooms after rooms, all left and arranged in the same way as the Kings who stayed there had left. The last queen of Portugal, Queen Amélia, spent her last night at the palace before leaving the country in exile.

Tiles and Ceilings Pena PalaceChapel Pena Palace


The chapel here is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Pena’, this chapel miraculously escaped severe damage and withstood the fury of nature for several centuries. The interiors are sober. The stained glass paintings had lovely depictions.

We found it hard not to linger around at some of the places. Some part of the façade is done up so beautifully with tiles. The designs are new and theme based. Interiors are done in Victorian and Edwardian styles. The ‘King’ style bedroom took our breath away. The bathroom was a room too! And the kitchen! OMG! Neat display of utensils used then. It took us a cool 2 hours to tour the interiors. You get the best views of Sintra from Pena Palace. The yellow arches through which we viewed the scenes were attractive. Almost all tourists there that day took their pics framed in these arches. We found it difficult to tear ourselves away from this.

Pena Palace, one of the grandest in the whole of Portugal!

View from Pena Palace

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52 Responses

  1. Wonderful Palace, Beautiful pics.
    Thanks for the informative post.

  2. eileen says:

    Pretty images of the palace and the chapel. A lovely view of Portugal. Thanks for sharing your trip!
    Happy Monday, enjoy your week ahead!

  3. sylviakirk says:

    Such an awesome place and amazing history!! Terrific captures as always, Indrani!! Thank you as always for sharing the wonders and the beauty of so many incredible places!! I hope you have a great new week!! Enjoy!!

  4. Cloudia says:

    Fairy Tale world, yes!

    Warm ALOHA,


  5. Barb says:

    What a colorful palace. The stained glass is lovely. The tiles look amazing.

  6. You don’t see palaces painted gold yellow everyday.

  7. wow.. what a wonderful place 🙂

  8. This is brimming out with grandeur and royalty. 🙂

  9. Arun says:

    Nice bright colors. The palace looks beautiful.

  10. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    Thanks for presenting a glimpse of Portugal… 🙂

  11. ladyfi says:

    Oh wow – so gorgeous!

  12. Meera says:

    Nice interiors and attractive exteriors. 🙂

  13. Such an awesome palace 🙂

  14. Kishor Kr says:

    Beautiful Captures!!

  15. Such a nice and information post, I want to visit there… I wonder you covered Pena Palace in a single day?

  16. Yogi saraswat says:

    Pena Palace, one of the grandest in the whole of Portugal! Really beautiful .

  17. VJ Sharma says:

    Beautiful post. And these palaces look so awesome.

    Looks like a nice place to explore and click around.

  18. Arun says:

    Such a lovely place!

  19. A Beautiful Palace.. Well presented, Indrani!

  20. Wow, the palace is so beautiful.Lovely clicks and a great writeup

  21. and i am imagining the ferociuos half fish-man

  22. shweta says:

    Super pictures, haven’t seen it yet would love to visit Indrani 🙂

  23. Always loved your short historical account along with beautiful captures 🙂

  24. Amazing palace.Lovely interiors

  25. Bob says:

    Wow, you make Portugal a lovely place, and it is. Brilliant images.

  26. Lovely pics, the palace facade looks straight out of a fairytale

  27. The buildings are such cheerful colours. Beautiful details in the stained glass.

  28. Beautiful palace, nice selection of photos.

  29. Rajesh says:

    Beautiful images of the palace. The chapel glass pane looks wonderful.

  30. awesome clicks Indrani !Queen Amelia.. straight out of a fantastic tale 🙂

  31. Wonderful! The chapels are beautiful!

  32. Wow! The palace looks so beautiful. Amazing captures, dear 🙂

  33. I get exited every time I see pictures of the Pena Palace. I bought a book about Portugal, so, I hope I can visit soon.

  34. Somali says:

    Lovely captures. The Goan churches look so much like the Portuguese churches.

  35. Thank you for all the tips, history and information, and the detailed log. And what an architecture…

  36. vatsala mallya says:

    Wonderful palace with awesome interiors and beautiful exteriors ! The history and the details are too good.

  37. Sri Kri says:

    Great piece of Architecture.Good to know about the history.

    Sriram & Krithiga

  38. Ruchi says:

    amazing pics…the place looks history rich

  39. Natalie says:

    I love that place! I was there 5 years ago, and was so surprised at how colorful the palace was. Your pictures just happen to be a lot better than mine! Makes me want to go back 🙂

  40. Nancy says:

    Sintra looks like a living fairytale and the history is very interesting. It’s too bad about the earthquake but looks like they did a good job rebuilding. Especially when the royal family took it over.

  41. Chrysoula says:

    What a beautiful place, to tell you the truth I haven’t heard of it before. That makes another reason for me to go to Portugal. LOve the view from the top.

  42. Megan says:

    Thanks for the information, I think I’m heading to Portugal next year. Pena Palace looks like a beautiful place to explore both history and a great view.

  43. Karla says:

    What a gorgeous castle

  44. Drew says:

    such a beautiful place. We were there almost ten years ago, and was one of the highlights of our week in Portugal. We were thinking of skipping it for a tour in Lisbon, and so glad we decided to head to Sintra.

  45. Tara says:

    What a glamorous place, and the views are amazing. I really hope to visit Sintra someday, but for now I’ll live vicariously through you!

  46. Maddy says:

    I was in Lisbon in June and really should have made the trip over to Sintra. I’ve loved your post, the chapel looks beautiful!

  47. Oh I am heading to Lisbon in January so I might have to make a trip to Sintra. It’s looks like a place not to be missed. Really enjoyed reading this!

  48. Oh my! Lovely palace. How cool would it have been to live there a few centuries ago! I’m having quite a princess moment here, envisioning life as it was back there in that grand palace!

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