The National Palace of Sintra, located in the historic town centre, was inhabited for nearly eight centuries by the Portuguese monarchy and its court. It was much used, particularly during the Middle Ages, as a hunting retreat and as a refuge from outbreaks of disease in the capital, or as a summer resort, thanks to the town’s more agreeable climate.The building combines various architectural styles among which Gothic and Manueline elements stand out, together with the Mudéjar style – a harmonious combination of Muslim and Christian artistic influences –, immediately apparent in the exuberant Hispano-Moresque tiling. The collections displayed within the Palace also bear artistic witness to the multicultural nature of Portuguese decorative art between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
The first reference to the ‘Paço de Sintra’, alongside the castle which faces it high up in the mountains, was made by the tenth-century Arab geographer, Al-Bakrî. In 1147, following the conquest of Lisbon by King Afonso Henriques, the Almoravides of Sintra surrendered, ending more than three centuries of Muslim domination. The present form of the National Palace of Sintra is essentially the result of works initiated by King Dinis (1261-1325) – who was responsible for the building of the Chapel–, King João I (1356-1433) – who arranged his quarters around the Central Patio and constructed the present Swan Room, which is the oldest state room in the Portuguese palaces, and adjoining rooms – and King Manuel I(1469-1521), who added the imposing / Room of the Coats of Arms, featuring, under the dome, King Manuel’s coat of arms, as well as his sons’ and the ones of seventy two important noble families, and the East Wing. The building was severely affected by the 1755 earthquake, after which it was rebuilt, maintaining the current day silhouette that dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. The 1910 revolution brought an abrupt end to the use of this palace as a royal residence. Queen Maria Pia, widow of King Luís was the last royal inhabitant of the Palace, from where she left to go into exile.
Open daily apart from 1 January and 25 December:
Timetable: 9.30am – 6.30pm (last ticket and last admission: 6pm)
Check the ongoing programming at www.parquesdesintra.pt to find out about the different activities, events and experiences available in this location.
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org; +351 219 237 300