The “Palácio Nacional de Sintra” (National Palace of Sintra), or “Palácio da Vila” (Palace of the Village), began to be built in the XV century, taking advantage of an old construction of the Muslim era, culminating in the mid-eighteenth century its present exterior appearance. The peculiar and enormous two chimneys that leave the kitchen of the Palace, have become an ex libris and a symbol of Sintra.
As it has been growing over the centuries, it has varied characteristics of architectural styles, from medieval architecture, to Mudejar, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance and Romantic. Also inherent in this fact, the palace is an example of organic architecture, ie several wings and apparently separate but harmoniously joined buildings, connected by stairs, atriums, corridors and galleries.
The “Palácio Nacional de Sintra” (National Palace of Sintra) was used by the Royal Portuguese Family practically until the end of the Monarchy in 1910. Over the years, important works of restoration, decoration and ornamentation have been carried out, which remain exceptionally well preserved today.
King João I (1385 – 1433) was the first promoter of the building of the Palace, initiating the original plan, which included the white facades, the main entrance and the central courtyard, known as the Joanina Wing. From that time, the construction of the two huge chimneys, built to the measure of the enormous stoves and ovens of the real kitchen, goes back.
The “Palácio Nacional de Sintra” (National Palace of Sintra) was the preferred residence of the son of D. João I, King D. Duarte, who spent much of his reign in the Palace. In the 15th century a new, more luxurious royal building was built. King Afonso V, son of D. Duarte, was born and died in the “Palácio Nacional de Sintra” (National Palace of Sintra).
Between 1505 and 1520 the so-called Manueline Wing was erected and in 1508 the construction of the “Sala dos Brasões” (Hall of Coats) began. From this room stands the dome covered with coats of arms representing 72 noble families of the sixteenth century, around the portraits of the 8 children of King D. Manuel I.
During the reign of D. João III the space between the Wings Joanina and Manueline was built. In the seventeenth century, works of alteration and enlargement were carried out and, between 1683 and 1706, in the reign of D. Pedro II, the paintings of the ceilings of some wings were renewed.
Of these paintings, the “Sala dos Cisnes” (Swan Room ) stands out, where you can admire the wooden compartments in the ceiling, elegantly decorated by swans arranged in several positions and also the Hall of Crowns, where the birds painted in the ceiling, have a ticket in the beak that says “For good.” On this particular account, legend tells (in one of the versions) that King João I was caught by his wife to kiss a court girl. Before the annoyed Queen, the King justified that it did so by sincere friendship, and not by love; and with this legend, he ordered the building of a room whose roof is painted by Crowns, so that this bird would proclaim its innocence, and the unjustly stained purity of the court girl.
Following the damage caused by the earthquake of 1755, important restoration works were carried out and a new area was built, from “Jardim da Preta” (Garden of the Black) to “Pátio dos Tanquinhos” (Patio of the Little Tanks).
In addition to the aforementioned rooms, there are also the “Sala dos Archeiros” (Archers Room), “Sala Moura” (Arabs Room), the “Sala das Sereias” (Mermaids Room) and the Sala da Audiência (Audience Hall). The Palace also houses a chapel with a rectangular plan and a single nave, with walls covered with ornamental paintings and wooden ceilings.
The last royal inhabitant of the “Palácio da Vila” (Palace of the Village) of Sintra was the Queen D. Maria Pia, who used the Palace as a summer residence. Between 1904 and 1958, a curiosity to emphasize, was the one of the Electric Tram of Sintra, that had its terminal stop in the square, near the main entrance.
Open every day from 09:30 to 18:00, last ticket and last entry 17h30 (until 03/23) and from 09:30 to 19:00, last ticket and last entry 18h30 (after 03/23).