Quinta da Regaleira. Sintra. Portugal
Speaking about the mysterious well in Sintra we have lightly mentioned the palace which has the same name as the estate – Quinta da Regaleira. Let us recall that Quinta da Regaleira Palace is located in the old part of the town of Sintra, and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The first owner of the palace was Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, so the palace is also known as “Palace of Monteiro-millionaire”. There are many palaces Sintra, but the palace Quinta da Regaleira is one of the first places where tourists seek to get.
A large area of the complex is occupied by the park, which is dotted with paths and trails. Below the upper part of the park there are dug tunnels that connect the grottoes and the wells. On its territory there are two artificial lakes and several fountains. The palace is a five-storey building, which is located in the lower part of the park. In front of the main facade of the palace there is a Catholic chapel performed in the Romanesque style, inside it is richly decorated with frescoes and stucco patterns.
Quinta da Regaleira can be called a neo-gothic castle with elements of neomanuelino (Portuguese architectural style that combines elements of late Gothic and Renaissance). It is richly adorned with turrets, stuck round by gargoyles, eagles and other mythical creatures. Interior design and decoration of the palace are full of symbols of the Masons and the Knights Templar. This is a very detailed and skillful work – a masterpiece of architecture. Of course, it is just a small part which was preserved to this day from the mysterious creator, but you can examine or scrutinize bas-reliefs, sculptures and mosaics for a long time, and every time you will see new and new details.
Despite the emptiness of the interior, it is quite cozily here. Small rooms are flooded with light from the windows, offering stunning views of the garden. On the ground floor and below stairs of the palace there were a servants’ room, a pantry, a laundry room and a kitchen. On the first floor – rooms, where people spent time together, and for the guests. The Hunting Hall was used as a dining room. Everything is performed in a hunting theme – decorations on the walls and the fireplace, the figures of deer and hunting dogs. The ceiling, the walls, the window frames – in the style of national style neomanuelino. The magnificent floor is made of Venetian tiles.
In general, all the rooms are worthy of attention, like a museum of history, they tell about their owners. After all, the palace has changed several hosts. The Hall of Kings, for example, has under the ceiling 20 portraits of Portuguese kings and 4 queens. In 1892, the owners were barons Regaleira, a family of wealthy merchants from Porto. A year later, the land was bought by Carvalho Monteiro. Monteiro wanted to build a palace, which for its architectural details would display his interests and worldview. With the help of an Italian architect Luigi Manini he managed to implement his plan. The complex, consisting of unusual buildings, which as believed concealed the symbols of the Alchemy, the Freemasonry, the Order of the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians society, was built on 4 acres of land.
In its entirety, the architecture of the complex includes a number of styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline. The construction of this masterpiece began in 1904, and was practically completed in 1910 (in the last years of the Portuguese monarchy). The palace has twice changed its owners since that time. In 1997 the municipality of Sintra bought the palace, and a year later, after the restoration works, the palace was opened for public visits and excursions.