Pena Palace History | From A Monastery To Majestic Palace

National Palace of Pena, nestled in the Sintra Mountains of Portugal, embodies a captivating history. Originally a 16th-century monastery, it gained renewed significance in the 19th century under the visionary King Ferdinand II. With a passion for architecture and romanticism, he transformed the monastery's ruins into a magnificent palace, reflecting a fusion of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Moorish, and Islamic styles.


Completed in 1854, Pena Palace became a splendid summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family. Its vividly painted facades, intricate stucco work, and lush terraced gardens contributed to its allure. The palace's historical journey includes its survival through political shifts and periods of neglect, finally gaining recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Pena Palace stands as a testament to King Ferdinand II's creative vision and Portugal's architectural heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into the country's cultural evolution and a picturesque escape into a bygone era.


Timeline Of Pena Palace

Timeline Of Pena Palace

12th century: King Manuel I ordered the construction of the Royal Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena to replace a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Pena. It was handed to the Order of Saint Jerome later.


1755: A devastating earthquake hit Lisbon and left the monastery in ruins.


1834: The monastery functioned somehow until 1834 when it was abandoned due to the fall of the religious orders in Portugal.


1838: King D. Fernando II of Portugal fell in love with Sintra and ordered the construction of Pena Palace on the ruins of the old monastery.


1840: King Fernando II of Portugal and his family used the palace and its beautiful park as a summer residence.


Second half of 19th century: King D. Carlos I and Queen D. Amélia of Orléans occupy Pena Palace in the summer season. Their son, D. Manuel II, also spent significant time in this palace, keeping his former infantry quarters on the main floor of the Torreão.


1910: Pena Palace was named a National Monument and the most important centre of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra.


1995: Pena Palace is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2000: The National Palace of Pena is added to the Network of European Royal Residences.

History Of Pena Palace


Construction Of Pena Palace
Construction Of Pena Palace

Construction of Pena Palace began in 1839, during the reign of King Ferdinand II. The king wanted to create a summer residence that reflected his love for art and architecture. The construction took over 30 years, with different parts of the building being added over time. The palace was built in phases, partly due to financial constraints and the fact that the palace was not a priority for the Portuguese government. Despite the extended construction period, the final result was a stunning palace that continues to be admired and visited by many today. Pena Palace History is a testament to the creativity, skill, and dedication of the people who designed and built this unique landmark.


Checkout: What's inside the Pena Palace

Phases Of Construction
Phases Of Construction

The construction of Pena Palace took place in phases over a period of more than 30 years. The project started in 1839 when King Ferdinand II purchased the ruins of an old monastery in Sintra. The king then commissioned the construction of a new palace on the site, with the aim of creating a summer residence that reflected his love for art and architecture. Due to financial constraints and other factors, the construction was carried out in phases, with different parts of the palace being added over time. The result was a stunning palace that is a testament to the creativity and perseverance of those involved in its construction. The phases of construction are a significant part of the history of Pena Palace.

Original Inhabitants
Original Inhabitants

The original inhabitants of Pena Palace were the Portuguese royal family, who used the palace as a summer residence during the 19th and early 20th centuries. King Ferdinand II commissioned the construction of the palace in the mid-19th century to serve as a residence for the royal family. The palace was designed to reflect the king's passion for art and architecture. After the fall of the monarchy in 1910, the palace was converted into a museum and opened to the public. Today, Pena Palace is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Portugal, attracting millions of visitors every year who come to learn about the rich Pena Palace history of this unique palace and its former inhabitants.

Conversion Into A Museum
Conversion Into A Museum

Pena Palace underwent conversion into a museum in the 20th century, opening its doors to the public. Pena Palace history, eclectic architecture, and royal heritage were preserved for visitors to explore and appreciate. The palace's transformation into a museum allowed for the preservation of its cultural significance, enabling people from around the world to experience its unique blend of architectural styles and immerse themselves in Portugal's past.


Also Explore: Best time to visit the Pena Palace

UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1995, the National Palace of Pena was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural and historical significance. It is a unique example of 19th-century Romanticism architecture and represents the fusion of different styles and influences Pena Palace history, making it an important part of Portugal's architectural heritage.

Pena Palace Today

Pena Palace Today

Pena Palace stands as a pivotal cornerstone in the tapestry of Portugal rich history and cherished heritage. Each year, it welcomes a multitude of visitors, drawn by the allure of its vibrant architectural palette and expansive, enchanting grounds.


Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national treasure holds a profound significance for Pena Palace's cultural lineage, historical narrative, and ancestral heritage. Over time, it has undergone meticulous and extensive restoration endeavors, a testament to the commitment to preserving its intrinsic historical value. These efforts not only safeguard its historical eminence but also ensure its unwavering appeal as a cherished destination for global travelers.


Pena Palace is more than just an architectural marvel; it is a living embodiment of Portugal's past, present, and future. Its enduring charm and magnetic allure stand as a testament to the dedication to honoring and sharing the nation's legacy with the world, inviting visitors to embark on a captivating journey through time and culture and it is one of the best historical places to visit in Sintra.


Read More: Facts About Pena Palace

History Of Pena Palace Video

The Fascinating History of Pena Palace

Pena Palace, located in Sintra, Portugal, boasts a rich history. Originally a humble 16th-century monastery, it underwent a transformative renovation in the 19th century under King Ferdinand II. The king's passion for Romanticist architecture led to the creation of the palace's unique blend of styles, including Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, and Neo-Islamic. The result is a captivating masterpiece that reflects the diverse influences and artistic trends of its time, now celebrated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Book Pena Palace Tickets

Pena Park - Admission Tickets
i4.38 Stars| Rated By 235+ Customers
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

When was Pena Palace constructed and by whom?

    Pena Palace, with its vibrant colours and intricate carvings and sculptures, stands out as one of the most beautiful and unique landmarks in the world. The palace was constructed by King Ferdinand II of Portugal between 1839 and 1869 as a summer residence that reflected his love for art and architecture. Pena Palace history is a testament to the king's dedication to creating a residence that was not only functional but also beautiful and unique. Today, Pena Palace remains a symbol of Portugal's artistic and cultural heritage, drawing visitors from all over the world to admire its stunning beauty and history of Pena Palace.

    Checkout: Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Combo Tickets

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