Located in the Serra de Sintra, 4km away from the historic center, the Park and Palace of Monserrate form one of the best examples of Romantic architecture in Portugal. This place was opened to the public in 2010 after a big restoration process. Unfortunately, many people who visit Sintra take just one day to do so, so that the Monserrate often it is not in the priority list. Although not receive the same attention from tourists for other monuments, the Monserrate in its combination of palace and park form an incredible atmosphere.
In the Palace itself what drew the most attention on the visit was the richness of details, specially in the textures used both on the walls and ceilings. Moreover, it also highlights the conservation of the monument, which is actually fruit of a great work of restoration carried out by the company Parques de Sintra, which manages the site. During the visit there are some points that explain how the restoration was done and we can already say: it was a spectacular job! For people who also visit other palaces of the region, like Pena or Queluz, it is worth knowing that Monserrate is much smaller and has much less furniture. However the visit does not end in the palace, there is also a lush garden and a large lawn where you can relax.
In the Garden there is a huge botanical diversity. There are species from all around the world organized by geographical areas. The highlight is for the Garden of Mexico, built by Sir Francis Cook, responsible for a major renovation at the Palace and gardens in the 19th century. At that time Mexico was a very exotic destination, part of the new world and the Cook´s idea was to recreate that environment there. The construction of this space included even a waterfall, which seems quite natural nowadays. The garden also underwent a major restoration process began in 2008.
It is always worth remembering that the Serra de Sintra is considered World Heritage by UNESCO and hosts many interesting sights, such as the Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, Convent of the Capuchos, Quinta da Regaleira, the National Palace of Sintra, among others. For those also visiting the historical center, remember to go to Piriquita to taste the famous travesseiros.
Parque e Palacio Monserrate
Schedules and rates may vary depending on the season, so it is worth checking the website of the Parques de Sintra for updated information. On the website you can also view the complete history of the place, as well as knowing the best way to get there. 🙂