Monserrate: a must-see palace in Sintra

Monserrate - ©mariarebelophotography.comSintra has many romantic palaces but each has something unique to offer. One of our favorites is Monserrate, a palace surrounded by luscious gardens built in 1856 by Francis Cook, a famous British art collector.

When the Portuguese government bought the estate in 1949, the palace was in disrepair. The costly restoration work started in 1999 and only finished recently. It was worth the wait. We now have the privilege of seeing how the palace looked when the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen visited it in 1866. Here’s what he wrote:

“Large white bell-flowers hang from one tree; pearl-shaped, rose-colored berries from another, juicy fruits and sun-filled colored flowers grew here. Down over the smooth velvet lawn rippled the clear spring water. Above this fresh green, the castle rose in Moorish style, a fit subject for the Arabian Nights or a romantic fairy picture. The sun sank into the sea, which became rose-colored; the brightness of the sea and sky was reflected magically upon the marble white walls and decorations, filling with light the large mirror-clear window panes. The air was so warm, so still, so penetrated with the perfume of flowers, that one felt carried away from reality.”

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22 thoughts on “Monserrate: a must-see palace in Sintra

  1. Not sure how to contact you but wondered if I could save your banner picture. I wonder where it came from and if there is one for Porto? I am in Porto right now. Thanks.

    1. You can save for personal use, but not for use in social media sites. It is a drawing of Lisbon by architect Rui Barreiros Duarte, who does the drawings for our blog. The copyright belongs to him.

      1. Yes I have no intention of using it for anything but personal use. I wonder does he have a website or is it only commissions for you. Either way lovely and I will not use the image for commercial use. Thank you. Love your blog. As a Brit in Porto and Portugal for a time I am very much enjoying my stay. Obrigado.

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