Quinta da Regaleira is the most mysterious place in Sintra. We know very little about it, as the history keeps many secrets.
The first owner known to us, acquired the estate in 1697, his name was José Leite. Further, its owners changed each other all the time.
And in 1892, the history of the modern palace and garden began. The year when a rich man, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, bought this castle. He belonged to the ancient Monteiro family whose roots go far back into history.
Rui Monteiro served as “monteiro mor” under the first king of Portugal – Afonso I. “Monteiro” was the name of the person who looked after the hunting grounds, and “monteiro mor” was the one who organized the royal hunt. The Monteiro family was always rich and had an influence on the royal court. They also held managerial positions and some relations with the Templars.
António himself was not only an eccentric millionaire but also a versatile personality. He was fond of opera, collected art, watches, musical instruments, old books. The architect of the estate was a no less extraordinary person – Luigi Pedro Manini, who also worked on La Scala in Milan and the Lisbon Opera House.
Quinta da Regaleira combines Manueline, Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque styles. A huge amount of Masonic symbols, mythical creatures and all kinds of signs are here.
In the basement, there were rooms for servants. On the ground floor, there were halls where the family received guests and a dining room. There is a fireplace decorated with hunting scenes, and figures of various animals are depicted on the walls of the room. Drawings of hunting dogs and deer laid out on the Venetian tile floor. On the second floor, there were private chambers and on the third floor, where Augusto kept his collections and the alchemist’s room.
Opposite the palace is a chapel where you will find the symbols of the Order of the Cross, next to the symbols of the Knights Templar and Masonic signs. There are also many figures and statues on the estate. The most important structure is the “inverted tower”, also called the “well of initiation”. They say that there was an initiation into freemasonry. The entrance there is disguised by stones and is almost imperceptible. The tower is 30 meters high and has nine levels that you need to go through in a spiral. They symbolize the Nine Circles of Dante Alighieri.
At the bottom of the well is the coat of arms of the Monteiro family – the cross of the Templars, placed in the Rose of Wind. Once at the bottom, you must go through a tunnel and exit to an oasis with water and a waterfall.
It is possible to describe this castle for a very long time, but it is much better to see it once. This is an amazing place that will not leave anyone indifferent. We also advise you to allocate at least three hours to this place, as the site is very exciting. We also recommend taking a guided tour or using an audio guide.
9:30 – 20:00 from April, 1 to September, 30
9:30 – 18:00 from October, 1 to March, 31
closed on December 24, 25, January 1
– regular ticket – 10€
– if you are under 18 or over 65 – 5€
– children under 5 years – free
20% discount with Lisboa Card
How to get there:
- By bus № 435