Sintra is one of the most iconic places in Portugal. Just about 25 km from Lisbon, the village is very picturesque and its cultural landscape classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
It’s in the middle of this scene we find Quinta da Regaleira.
The place is fascinating. Not only for its the buildings and magnificent gardens, as well for all the mysticism that surrounds it, carried away by the alchemical symbols scattered everywhere.
Also, its location adds, even more, magic to the story: the slope of the Serra de Sintra, also known as Holy Mountain, as called by historians Varro and Columella, or Moon Mountain, dubbed by astronomer Ptolemy.
António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro bought the property from Regaleira’s Viscountess in 1893.
Carvalho Monteiro then would order the Italian architect Luigi Manini the design of the Quinta da Regaleira, as we know it today: four hectares of lush gardens, ponds, fountains, labyrinthine caves, towers and a breathtaking palace.
Like the Initiatory Well, for example. This is just one of the entry points to the underground galleries of Regaleira and integrates the so-called “initiatory journey”: the East Cave, the Cascade Lake, the Imperfect Well, the Guardians Portal and the Initiatory Well.
In this last one, you’ll notice that it’s an inverted tower plunging 25 meters inside the earth by a spiral staircase. Walking through the labyrinthine tunnels and arriving at the well, start to rise to the surface, as getting out of hell into the heaven. 😉
Here the bustle is always big, making it sometimes impossible to take a picture without having an arm with a camera in front of you or hordes of tourists roaming up and down the staircase.
I could write a gigantic post with all that you can be seen in Quinta da Regaleira, its history, and symbolism, but nothing like a visit to the site (entry € 6) to get it all in.
And to spike, even more, curiosity, I leave you with this video, the first on the Surfer Girl On The Move channel. And if you want to get to know more places to visit in Sintra, check out this post from my friend blogger Catarina Leonardo, from Viajar pela História. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Have you ever been to Regaleira? What did you think? Tell me all about it in the comment box.