Sintra, Portugal: Pena Palace

June 11, 2018
No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.



NO NEED TO ADJUST YOUR SETS:  THIS TECHNICOLOUR TRIP IS ALL REAL. #NOFILTERNEEDED 😳😱😍

Pena Palace is a sight that seems all too familiar even to those who have never been to Sintra, Portugal. The utter wackiness of this castle - a hedonistic hodge-podge of architectural styles and colours that resembles a box of oversized crayons - has more than made the rounds on postcards (and its modern day equivalent: the holiday snaps on social media) to the point where many who cross the threshold of this famous palace for the first time are struck by deja vu. But unlike a dream, the reality of Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is more fantastical, more lurid, and more unbelievable than the imagination can conjure...

VISIT PORTUGAL • PARQUES DE SINTRA 


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My thoughts when I first glimpsed Palácio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace) were: “Dear lord, it’s like an architect was briefed to create a ‘classy, European-style fairytale castle’ for a theme park, and based all his research off Disney cartoons and children’s books. While being as high as a kite.” Indeed, Pena Palace embodies every extreme you’d expect from such a place, and then dumps a bucket of paint on it for good measure. 

First of all, Pena Palace stands on the top of the second highest point in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from even Lisbon. Second, rising from a a thickly wooded forest (that looks like the perfect place to raise a princess away from the  eyes of Maleficent and her cronies) Pena Palace is an explosion of colours; reds, yellows, purples, blues, and every shade in between. The visuals are even trippier up close: an intentional mismatch of architectural styles (including Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic and Neo-Renaissance...all the Neos) resulting in a wedding cake topped with onion domes, dotted with Moorish keyhole gates, and covered in mythological stone creatures.

From its inception in the Middle Ages, Pena Palace has survived lightning damage, the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, and the Republican Revolution of 1910 to be the greatest expression of 19th-century Romanticism in Portugal. For these reasons, among others, Pena Palace is a National Monument in 1910, part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra; and in 1995, was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.
CAPTION
No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.
CAPTION
No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.
 A TRITON, SYMBOLISING THE ALLEGORY OF CREATION OF THE WORLD
No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.
CAPTION
No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.

Unbelievably, up till fairly recently Pena Palace was visually identified as being entirely gray - the red and yellow façades  of the palace had faded over time and neglect. It was only by the end of the 20th century that the palace was repainted and the original colours restored. Interestingly enough, the mashup of styles acts as a colour-code of sorts - each different coloured section indicates the time period it was built in.

As for what I think...well, I’m still undecided if Pena Palace is a photographer’s dream or a photographer’s nightmare. I mean, if you like all things colourful and eclectic than this crazy castle is just your basket of fruit. But I veer on the side of “neurotically-organised”, so the joyful celebration of “everything goes!” made me twitch. It certainly didn’t help my OCD that no amount of perspective correction in editing would make Pena Palace conform to my compositional ideals. OoOoOoOohhh *triggered*




No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.

“...Whatever drugs the architect was taking, I want some too.”

Yellow tweed jacket, ZARA 
(Similar HERE and HERE)

No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.

Thankfully, for all of Pena Palace’s out-of-the-world features, there are still pockets of classical shapes and sights - read: symmetry, graceful arches, luscious palms and fronds - to be found...

No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.

...such as this sweeping view of Sintra (you can never go wrong with a vista like this)...

No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.
Dress, ASOS
Espadrilles, GLAMOROUS
Box bag, DOLCE & GABBANA 
(similar HEREHERE, HEREand HERE)



...and little pockets of calm away from the crowd, such as under these sunshine-yellow arches overlooked as just a place to store baskets.

No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.


No need to adjust your sets: the famously colourful Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal; is indeed a technicolour dream castle. Read more on Posh, Broke, & Bored.

Stay tuned for my next story for all you need to know about how to get to Pena Palace as well as the other attractions of Sintra, Portugal.

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