Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace), Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace), Sintra (must see)

The word "Quinta" refers to a whole estate and all within it. In this Quinta there are many wonders and curiosities in the palace itself and in the mysterious lakes, woods, grottoes, wells and constructions surrounding it.

The palace is known locally as "The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire." The "Millionaire" is the former owner, Antonio Monteiro and he was, allegorically, an "eccentric" millionaire.

Quinta da Regaleira had belonged to D. Emelinda Monteiro de Almeida, Viscountess of Regaleira, child of a wealthy family of Porto. Emelinda sold the estate to Monteiro in 1892. Antonio was a millionaire coffee merchant from Brazil. He had obsessions that he needed to explore.

He hired Italian architect Luigi Manini and they set to work. They created various enigmatic buildings and settings derived from alchemy, Free Masonry, the Knights Templar, and even the Rosicrucians.

Construction started in 1904. It was mostly complete by 1910. The Palace facade is lavishly decorated with Gothic pinnacles, gargoyles, capitals and an awesome octagonal tower. The palace building has five floors; a ground floor, three upper floors and a basement. The uppermost floor opens on to a terrace.

A chapel is in front of the palace facade. There are frescoes, stained glass windows, stuccos, an armillary sphere and more than a few pentagrams. Most of the estate is wooded with park land and wild wood. There is a system of tunnels that connect to grottos, the chapel, lakes, caves, the tower and the awesome "Initiation Wells."

The Initiation Wells were meant as inverted towers for secret rites including the Tarot, Masons, Rosicrucians and all the rest of it. Spiral stairs lead to the bottom and tunnels connect to other sites on the estate. Sounds like spooky fun.

Lastly there are the lakes, fountains and the aquarium, not stocked with anything. The palace was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sintra. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace)
Sight Location: Sintra, Portugal (See walking tours in Sintra)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Sintra, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Sintra

Create Your Own Walk in Sintra

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sintra is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Tour

Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Tour

A charming little township on the outskirts of Lisbon, Sintra is a place where there's something for everyone. As if straight out of a fairy tale, this area is a home to several magnificent castles, palaces and gardens, the grandiosity of which fits for a king; and it has been a firm favorite of Portuguese royals since the late 15th century.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Sintra Introduction Walking Tour

Sintra Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles