We are finally at the place that I think is the most beautiful in Europe. Of all the palaces I have seen in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Romania, this one is the first one I would name as being the best. So great that I would live here if it would be possible. All of this is possible due to Francis Cook, a textile millionaire that made what I saw.
From Sintra, to Monserrate is not a very long walk, but of course there is also a small bus that can get you there from the train station.
But I walked there. I passed again by the beautiful Fonte dos Pisoes.
I stoped again at a very beautiful garden on the Rua Barbosa du Bocage.
After passing the Palacio de Setais (seen in the previous article) there is mostly just wilderness. From time to time there is a hidden “palace” or a recreation area. There I found this bridge over the main road.
Once inside the park of Monserrate you go upwards towards green house where is a tractor guarding it. Also there is a beautifull view of the Palace itself and the great Atlantic Ocean far in the distance.
From here, the road is beautiful and downhill. various exotic trees and plats are on one side and the other. Here I am the Boulder House. Next to it is a place where you can serve an exotic tea and have a small croissant to go with.
This bird sings so beautiful, that at many occasions (elsewhere in Spain) I would go in bushes or over springs, just to capture it in a photo. The European Robin.
A white Passion Flower.
So many flowers can be seen everywhere, if only I had a macro Lens to go with. In fact at most pictures the lens of choice was the 18-135 IS STM from Canon.
As the sun was peeking, the palace was beautifully shining and reflecting its billions of tiny details.
A spider on Aeonium lindleyi flower.
Again a triton, but this time is a fountain.
Pohutuwaka tree. In New Zealand (country of origin) this is their Christmas tree. I was in June and it was in full blossom.
The garden is magnificent and I did not yet shown everything. But for now I entered in this wow palace.
These heavily decorated arches and walls made me feel in one of the 1001 nights. The floor might not have a Persian rug on it, and might be very cold due to that, but it’s perfect no matter what.
An astounding symmetry that wowed me second by second. I must have stood close to 20 minutes just in one sector.
The music room’s spherical dome is a beyond words. Actually how did people explain its beauty?
I needed a pause for my mind, to memorize everything saw thus far. So I entered in the Library. But how can you stop and feel like on Earth when a gorgeous high relief door is just at the entrance.
A work of art that is a door.
When I was a kid, I would stare at my ceiling in search of motivation to do my homework… but here you would get lost in a Desert story, with mages and djins.
I don’t even know if I was allowed to get here, but no door was here. I does look in a big way. I let you imagine here another scenario.
Have you ever been in a small Vila, where every step you take is full of amaze?
Main Hall. Simply 11 out of 10 in beauty.
There is so much work, that everyday I go to work and I see the army of people building simple products, I feel ashamed to be part of something that is simple, not practical, tasteless yet over priced.
Just look at this Dome…
I got out. I couldn’t anymore. The place was already influencing my dreams. It showed me that people with taste do exist. Is definitely not the size of the Palace, but the macro scale of everything that just blew my mind.
Out in the park, I saw many other flowers.
These details I saw them after I took the picture. No more soft petals… Were they hand picked to match the palace theme?
Finally, the second purpose to come back to Sintra. First was the Initiatic Well at Regaleira, now is the false ruin of a chapel (as Francis Cook says himself).
They seem to be carnivore plants…
Waterlilies at the Ornamental Lakes.
A view from the park to the beautiful Monserrate Palace.
I ran to take the bus. While on the seat I was already sorting my pictures. So many… so beautiful some of them.
Soon I was rushing on the streets of Sintra, once again to get my luggages and head towards the train.
Once in the Alfa Pendular, I became already nostalgic…
Perhaps after reading and viewing these 3 articles on Sintra, plus the old one, you would think twice before booking a hotel in Lisbon, or Nazare or any other place from Portugal.
By no means I do not imply that only Sintra is great… Obidos is amazing also, same goes for Fatima and Porto. But no other location on Europe matches this one. Not even Venice.
Hope you visit it one day and share you story.