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Detailed History of Pena Palace | Timeline, Events & More

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal, is a sight for sore eyes. Its location and architecture are pretty as a picture: the palace blends Gothic, Moorish, and Manueline architectural styles and sits atop a magnificent hill. You can explore the palace interiors and gardens with an entry ticket and learn about its moving history. Visit Pena Palace if you’re in Sintra for a lesson in architecture and natural beauty.

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

Demon supports the balcony at the entrance Pena Palace

12th century

Pena Palace is a consequence of several decisions taken by individuals in power. Its history begins well before its construction. A chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Pena stood at Pena Palace's place in the 12th century. When King Manuel I came to power, he brought it down to create a monastery called the Royal Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

18th century

A devastating earthquake ripped Lisbon in 1755. It caused widespread destruction, leaving the Royal Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena in ruins. Hardly anything was left of the monastery, but it stayed functional throughout the 18th century and the start of the 18th century.

Details of Pena Palace

19th century

Pena Palace got its current form in the 19th century. The Royal Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena was abandoned in 1834 after the fall of the religious orders in Portugal. Four years later, King D. Fernando II of Portugal, who fell in love with Sintra, ordered the construction of Pena Palace on the ruins of the old monastery. His family used the palace and its beautiful park as a summer residence for over a decade.

The Pena Palace, Sintra

20th century

Pena Palace’s reputation was enhanced in the 20th century. It was classified as a National Monument and the most important centre of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra in 1910. The palace earned its UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1995.

Construction of Pena Palace

Beautiful view of the famous Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege

King D. Fernando II of Portugal appointed Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege, a renowned German architect, to build Pena Palace. Von Eschwege was born in Hanover, Germany, and studied engineering and architecture.

He went to Brazil in 1910 and worked as a mining engineer and geologist. He was crucial in developing Brazil's mining industry, earning him a reputation as one of the country's most distinguished experts in the field.

He began work on Pena Palace’s design and construction in 1838. Von Eschwege worked tirelessly to prepare the palace's layout and ensure its decorative elements enchanted visitors. He also oversaw the construction of the palace’s key features, including the impressive entrance archway and the ornate chapel.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portuga

The Architecture of Pena Palace

Pena Palace is an architectural masterpiece, a place for visitors to Romanticism in architecture. Designed by Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege, the palace incorporates several architectural styles, such as Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance.

It has a unique design with vibrant yellow and red shades and decorative details. The interior is equally impressive; lavishly decorated rooms, intricate tilework, and ornate furnishings provide a taste of royal life.

A stunning chapel is also located within the palace grounds, featuring stained glass windows and detailed carvings. Pena Palace park and gardens also have unique elements, with several exotic plants, winding paths, and gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape.




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Frequently Asked Questions About Pena Palace's History

How old is the Pena Palace?

The Pena Palace, located in Sintra, Portugal, was completed in 1854, so it is currently 169 years old as of 2023.

Where is the Pena Palace located?

Pena Palace is located atop Serra da Sintra hill, the second highest peak (480m) in the region.

What is Pena Palace famous for?

Pena Palace is famous for its distinctive architecture, which combines elements of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance styles. It is also known for its vibrant and colorful facade, which features shades of yellow, red, and purple.

Who designed Pena Palace?

German architect and engineer Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege designed Pena Palace.

Are there guided tours explaining the Pena Palace’s history?

Yes. Guided tours explaining Pena Palace’s history and heritage are available.

What is the most interesting fact about the Pena Palace’s history?

There are many interesting facts about the history of Pena Palace, but one that stands out is that the palace was originally a monastery that was severely damaged by lightning in the 18th century.

Is it worth visiting Pena Palace?

Yes. Pena Palace is worth visiting because it features several architectural styles and has colourful, vibrant architecture.