Located on the outskirts of the historic center of Sintra (Portugal), “Quinta da Regaleira” (Regaleira Estate) is one of the main tourist attractions of Sintra.
It was built in 1910 and it is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The origins of “Quinta da Regaleira” date back to 1697, when José Leite purchased a huge tract of land that nowadays is part of “Quinta da Regaleira”.
Between 1697 and 1830, “Quinta da Torre” (Tower Estate), as it was called at that time, had several owners. In 1840, the property, already known as “Quinta da Regaleira”, was bought by Allen, later called Baroness of Regaleira.
However, the history of the current “Quinta da Regaleira” started in 1892, when it was sold to António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro, a man of enormous culture and with a huge fortune. With the assistance of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, Carvalho Monteiro draw the enigmatic buildings of “Quinta da Regaleira”. Their construction began in 1904 and it was concluded in 1910.
The estate was sold to Waldemar d’Orey in 1942, who used it as private residence. In 1987 it was sold again, this time to the Japanese Aoki Corporation and ceased to serve as residence.
Sintra Town Hall acquired the “Quinta da Regaleira” in 1997 and, after an extensive restoration, it was opened to the public in 1998.
The “Palácio da Regaleira” (Regaleira Palace), built in Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance styles, is the main building of “Quinta da Regaleira”.
Because of the nickname (Millions Monteiro) of its first owner, Carvalho Monteiro, it is also known as “Palácio dos Milhões” (The Millions Palace).
The Palace has five floors: a basement, a ground floor and three upper floors. The ground floor contains the “Sala da Renascença” (Renaissance Room), the “Sala dos Reis” (Room of Kings), the living room, the billiards room, where 20 kings and 4 queens of the Portuguese Monarchy are represented, and the “Sala da Caça” (Hunting Room), whose main features are the fireside, the venetian mosaic and the vault.
The bedrooms, the dressing rooms, the study rooms, the female servant’s bedrooms and the library are located in the upper floors. The third floor houses the laboratory, which has access to the terrace.
The kitchen, the male servant’s bedrooms and the storage rooms are located on the basement.
The Regaleira Chapel, standing in front of the Palace, is a Roman Catholic Chapel richly decorated with frescoes, lavish stuccoes and stained glass windows. Representations of the Order of Christ Cross are observed on its floor.
The Palace and the Chapel are surrounded by a garden crossed by myriads footpaths. This garden presents a regular and systematic vegetation at the entrance, as we go through the garden, its wildness increases.
Decorative, symbolic and leisure structures can be found everywhere throughout the garden. It contains an extensive system of tunnels, which has access from the grottoes, the chapel, the Waterfall Lake and from the “Gruta da Leda” (Leda’s Grotto). There is a vast ensemble of turrets that provide breathtaking views. The highlight is an inverted tower with 27 meters, the “poço iniciático” (initiation well), which has a spiral shaped staircase.
February, March and October: 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
April to September: 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
November, December and January: 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Closed: 24 and 25 December