Facts About Pena Palace

Perched atop the Sintra Mountains in Portugal, the enchanting Pena Palace stands as a captivating testament to architectural ingenuity and historical intrigue and one of the best palaces in Sintra to visit. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vibrant palace is a fusion of Romanticism and eclectic styles, transporting visitors to a realm of fantasy and wonder. Built in the 19th century on the ruins of an ancient monastery, Pena Palace is renowned for its vividly painted facades, intricate stonework, and whimsical turrets that seem to emerge from a fairytale landscape.


From its commanding position, the palace offers panoramic views of the surrounding lush forests and the distant Atlantic Ocean. As one delves into the facts about Pena Palace, it becomes evident that every nook and cranny of this architectural masterpiece holds stories of Portuguese history, royalty, and the artistic movements that shaped its existence.

The Palace's Colorful Exterior
The Palace's Colorful Exterior

Nestled atop the Sintra Mountains, the Pena Palace emerges like a vibrant fantasyland. With its vivid yellow, crimson red, and blue tile hues, along with white stone accents, it stands as a romantic marvel. The fusion of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Moorish, and Islamic influences, notably the enchanting cornflower blue tiles with hints of yellow periwinkle, adds an alluring charm. This dreamlike palace evokes thoughts of Ludwig of Bavaria's extravagant castle, captivating gazes with its mesmerizing blend of styles, one of the least known facts about Pena Palace.

The Palace's Origins As A Monastery
The Palace's Origins As A Monastery

Pena Palace's history dates to the Middle Ages when a chapel to Our Lady of Pena was erected atop Sintra Mountains. In 1493, King John II and Queen Leonor fulfilled a vow by pilgriming to the site. King Manuel I shared their fondness, leading to a monastery's construction, donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. Pena became a snug home for up to 18 monks, a cherished sanctuary through time.

The Palace's Transformation by King Ferdinand II
The Palace's Transformation by King Ferdinand II

In the 18th Century, lightning and the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake damaged Pena's monastery. In 1838, King Ferdinand II purchased the chapel, land, Castle of the Moors, and more. He engaged Baron Wilhelm von Eschwege, a German engineer, to convert the ruins into a romantic royal summer retreat. Transforming 14 monk cells, the King replaced them with larger rooms, crowned by ribbed vaults, creating an artistic haven for the Portuguese royal family, one of the Pena Palace facts that you should know before visiting.

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Medieval Chapel Site Transformed
Medieval Chapel Site Transformed

A chapel stood in the location where Pena Palace now stands during the Middle Ages one of the least known Pena Palace facts. The chapel was constructed in the 12th century and was dedicated to Our Lady of Pena. Over the years, it served as a religious centre for the local population until the 16th century when it was abandoned. The chapel fell into disrepair and was eventually destroyed during the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. Later, King Ferdinand II of Portugal purchased the site and began the construction of Pena Palace, which was completed in 1854.

The Palace's Interior Design and Furnishings
The Palace's Interior Design and Furnishings

Crafted meticulously within a decade, the Pena Palace stands as a true masterpiece of precision design. Its entrance boasts ornate spheres and an arched display adorned with interlacing serpents. Victorian and Edwardian styles dominate the palace interiors. The expansive Great Hall, also known as the Billiards Room, takes center stage, adorned with a Gothic-style, gold-plated brass chandelier adorned with 72 candles. Alongside, four petroleum lamps and torch-holder candelabras further underscore its Gothic essence. 

1755 Earthquake Devastates Monastery
1755 Earthquake Devastates Monastery

The monastery that originally stood on the site of Pena Palace was destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, a catastrophic event that caused widespread destruction throughout Lisbon and the surrounding areas. King Ferdinand II purchased the damaged monastery in 1838 and began the construction of Pena Palace on the site, one of the least known facts about Pena Palace.

Damaged Monastery Acquired by King
Damaged Monastery Acquired by King

King Ferdinand II of Portugal is known for his love of the arts and architecture. In 1838, he purchased the damaged monastery that once stood on the location of the Park and National Palace of Pena. The King had a vision of creating a romantic palace that would be a reflection of his tastes and would serve as a summer residence for the royal family. He enlisted the help of an amateur German architect to design and build the palace, which is now one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal. King Ferdinand's vision and contribution to the creation of the Park and National Palace of Pena is a significant part of its history and legacy.

Amateur Architect Designs Pena Palace
Amateur Architect Designs Pena Palace

Pena Palace was built by an amateur German architect named Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege. Despite his lack of formal training, the baron managed to design a magnificent palace that is considered one of the finest examples of Romanticism in Europe. He used numerous architectural styles in his design, resulting in a unique blend of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance styles. The palace's distinctive red and yellow colours are also notable features of its design. Today, Pena Palace is a popular tourist destination in Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The Palace's Role in Portuguese Tourism
The Palace's Role in Portuguese Tourism

The Pena Palace nested in Sintra, plays a significant role in Portuguese tourism as it is one of the most iconic landmarks in Portugal, attracting tourists from around the world. One of the interesting facts about Pena Palace is that it has two different architectural styles- Romanticism and Moorish. Pena Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and symbolizes Portugal's rich history and culture, contributing greatly to the country's tourism industry by drawing countless tourists who are eager to explore its captivating beauty.

The Palace's Restoration and Preservation Efforts
The Palace's Restoration and Preservation Efforts

Pena Palace, located in Sintra, Portugal is a beautiful Romanticist castle and has undergone extensive preservation and restoration efforts over the years. The Parques de Sintra organization is responsible for its maintenance and has continuously worked on restoring, conserving, and revaluing the palace and its heritage. They mainly focus on preserving its artistic tiles, maintaining the vibrant colors of the palace's façade, and safeguarding its architectural elements. This ensures that Pena Palace remains a beautifully preserved example of 19th-century Romanticist architecture for you to admire.

State Ownership of Pena Palace
State Ownership of Pena Palace

In 1889, the Portuguese State purchased Pena Palace from the royal family, ensuring that it would remain a treasured cultural and historical landmark for generations to come. This purchase solidified the palace's status as an important symbol of Portuguese national identity and heritage. Today, Pena Palace continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience its stunning architecture and rich history. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pena Palace is considered an important piece of the world's cultural heritage and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Portugal, one of the least known facts about Pena Palace

The Palace's Surrounding Gardens and Landscapes
The Palace's Surrounding Gardens and Landscapes

The Pena Palace is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and surrounding gardens. One of the Pena Palace facts is that it comprises several gardens, including the Valley of Lakes, Queen's Fern Garden, and King Ferdinand's Garden. These gardens offer an enchanting and diverse natural environment while showcasing a rich variety of plant species, creating a lush and vibrant atmosphere. Dating back to the 19th century, the gardens played a pivotal role in the Romantic movement in Portugal and Europe, making them historically significant.

Pena Palace Receives Fresh Coat
Pena Palace Receives Fresh Coat

The attraction underwent a major renovation at the end of the 20th century, during which it was completely repainted to restore its vibrant colors, one of the facts about Pena Palace you should know. The restoration aimed to bring the palace back to its original appearance, as some of the paintworks had faded over time. The refurbishment was a challenging task, but the result was a stunning, fully restored Pena Palace that continues to awe visitors to this day.

Pena Palace's UNESCO Recognition
Pena Palace's UNESCO Recognition

One of the least known Pena Palace facts is that, in recognition of its historical and cultural significance, Pena Palace reveals that it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The palace and its surrounding park are considered an outstanding example of 19th-century Romanticism, blending various architectural styles to create a unique and picturesque masterpiece. The palace's architectural and artistic elements, as well as its historical and cultural significance, make it a must-visit destination for travellers interested in history, art and architecture.

Book Pena Palace Tickets

Pena Park - Admission Tickets
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Pena Park Admission Tickets
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Starts at
110
Saving 10%
98.78
/per adult
Highlights
  • Secure your spot at the last minute with exclusive access to sold-out tickets

  • Visit the National Palace of Pena and learn about the history of this fairytale-like fortress

  • Explore this royal and picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site on the top of the Sintra Mountains

  • Admire the architectural marvel built in Romantic, Renaissance, Manueline, & Moorish style

  • Take a walk among the lush vegetation, the castle has 500 acres of grounds where you may observe 2000 varieties of flora and 500 species of trees.

Scroll down to read more
Must Know Before You Go
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival.
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of arrival.
  • Kids under 6 years can get in for free. Adult tickets are applicable for individuals aged 6+ years.
  • Show your smartphone ticket at the Porta Férrea entrance.
  • Please note that the venue is not reachable by car. There is a paid transfer service available bringing guests from the park entrance to the palace. The service runs every 15 minutes and is wheelchair accessible.
  • There's a free hop-on hop-off transfer service available between the Palace and the Chalet of the Countess of Edla. Simply show your entrance ticket and hop on!
  • No dogs are allowed in the park, except guide dogs.
  • Keep your ticket available during your visit.
  • The time slot assigned grants access to Pena Palace and must be respected. You can access the park anytime.
  • This activity is wheelchair accessible.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
Scroll down to read more
Park and Pena Palace in Sintra: General Admission Tickets
i4.38 Stars| Rated By 235+ Customers
Park And Pena Palace In Sintra General Admission Tickets
highlightMobile Voucher
View More Details
Starts at
26.55
Saving 12%
23.35
/per adult
Highlights
  • Secure your spot at the last minute with exclusive access to sold-out tickets

  • Visit the National Palace of Pena and learn about the history of this fairytale-like fortress

  • Explore this royal and picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site on the top of the Sintra Mountains

  • Admire the architectural marvel built in Romantic, Renaissance, Manueline, & Moorish style

  • Take a walk among the lush vegetation, the castle has 500 acres of grounds where you may observe 2000 varieties of flora and 500 species of trees.

Scroll down to read more
Must Know Before You Go
  • ID proof is mandatory for each individual guest at the time of arrival.
  • All foreign nationals must share their passport and visa details at the time of arrival.
  • Kids under 6 years can get in for free. Adult tickets are applicable for individuals aged 6+ years.
  • Show your smartphone ticket at the Porta Férrea entrance.
  • Please note that the venue is not reachable by car. There is a paid transfer service available bringing guests from the park entrance to the palace. The service runs every 15 minutes and is wheelchair accessible.
  • There's a free hop-on hop-off transfer service available between the Palace and the Chalet of the Countess of Edla. Simply show your entrance ticket and hop on!
  • No dogs are allowed in the park, except guide dogs.
  • Keep your ticket available during your visit.
  • The time slot assigned grants access to Pena Palace and must be respected. You can access the park anytime.
  • This activity is wheelchair accessible.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
Scroll down to read more

FAQ's of Pena Palace

What is the history of Pena Palace?

    Pena Palace is a grand structure located on the Portuguese Riviera, near Lisbon, one of the best palaces in Portugal. The palace has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages when a chapel stood on its location. Later on, it was the home of a small group of monks for centuries until it was destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. King Ferdinand purchased the damaged monastery in 1838 and commissioned the construction of the Pena Palace. The palace was built by an amateur German architect and features numerous architectural styles in its design. Today, the Pena Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is surrounded by the Park and National Palace of Pena.

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