Quinta da Regaleira is a Neo-Manueline Palace is located near the historic centre of Sintra and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is set in the romantic scenery of a fairy-tale verdant garden, with footpaths, grottos, lakes and hidden wells, shrouded with mysterious tales of hidden tunnels and secret societies.
The property has changed ownership a number of times over the years. The Barons of Regaleira from Portom who owned it since its constructions, sold it to the millionaire, Carvalho Monteiro, in 1892. With the help of the Italian architect Luigi Manini (architect of La Scala Milan), he then remodelled the palace by adding buildings with enigmatic symbols, related to alchemy, Masonry and the Knights Templar. Later the Palace was sold to Waldemar d'Orey, who confined its usage to that of a private residence.
In 1987, Quinta da Regaleira was sold to the Japanese Aoki Corporation who kept it closed for ten years, until the Sintra Town Hall acquired it. It opened to the public in June of 1998. Today it hosts big cultural events.
Don’t miss the panoramic views from the octagonal tower over Sintra Hills (including Pena Palace) and the ocean. The chapel is also worth a visit for its fabulous frescoes. There’s also the Initiation Wells, which are used for ceremonial purposes, such as Tarot initiation rites.
Anyone interested in architecture or symbolism can easily spend a day there. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight for those dark mysterious tunnels. Visiting Quinta da Regaleira is a truly magical experience.