Gumbo's Pic of the Day. Sept. 8, 2013: Portuguese "Castle In The Sky"

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Portugal's answer to Bavaria's fairy-tale castles (and to Disney!), the Pena Palace sits high on a mountaintop above the town of Sintra, and above the 10th-century Moorish Castle that guarded it.

 

The palace was built in the second half of the 19th century, starting from an older monastery on the site, and was viewed by the Royal Family as a family retreat, away from the city, rather than as a site for administration. Within months of the overthrow of the Portuguese monarchy in 1908, the Palace began its new career as a tourist attraction.

 

Sintra is a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon; local buses climb the mountain to the Moorish Castle and Palace. Many daytrips from Lisbon are also available. For much more info about the Pena Palace, click HERE or HERE for information about the Sintra Park, including the Moorish Castle.

 

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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