There is one on the ground floor arcade with four broken arches , surmounted by five windows maineladas and emoludramento limestone. The inner compartments are reflected in cores arranged around courtyards. These include the Archer’s Room , the Moura (or Arab’s) Room , the Pegas Room , the Swan Room. Characteristic feature of this palace blend of Gothic, Manueline, Moorish, and Mudéjar styles in the present palace, mainly the result of building campaigns in the 15th and early 16th centuries.
Opened over the historic center, it was once a space or inner courtyard enclosed by the village and closed, in a medieval way, by buildings around its perimeter (which included the retirement of the nobles, servants and servants of the Palace). In 1912 the still existing buildings were demolished and the access gate, dating from 1789, was replaced below the source of the Palace, in what is today the entrance to the surrounding forest.
Built during the reign of King John I , it is the largest apparatus space of the Palace, where the most relevant events took place. It was a historic setting for celebrations and receptions, and even today official banquets are held here, such as those held on the occasion of visits by foreign heads of state. It was called “Great Room” in the period of John I and “Center of Infants” from D. Manuel .
The Swan Room inherits the name from the fact that the ceiling is completely decorated with 27 paintings of these animals. The reason begins in a legend that suggested that the Duke of Burgundy had offered a pair of swans to Infanta D. Isabel. Now the swan was the emblem of Henry IV of England, the brother of Filipa de Lencastre, uncle of the Infanta. And it was also a symbol of eternal fidelity common to the novels of the time, where knights sailed across the rivers on a swan-drawn barge to save the ladies.
Its current name is due to the painting of the ceiling, made up of 27 Renaissance-style wooden caskets, decorated with white swans in different positions, with inverted crown-shaped tips. It is first mentioned by the poet Luís Pereira Brandão about 1570.
Already known as the “Chamber of the Magpies” by King D. Duarte, in the 15th century, this room received the notables of the kingdom and foreign ambassadors. Noteworthy are the tile decoration and the composition of the ceiling. The south-facing window opens over the Sierra, topped by the Moorish Castle, and over the Audience Courtyard, with its Renaissance porch. In it, according to tradition, D. Sebastião heard the reading of Luís de Camões Os Lusíadas , the great Portuguese epic poem that narrates the discovery of the maritime path to India by Vasco da Gama (1498).
The name of this room is also due to the ceiling painting, which dates back to the 15th century, representing 136 Magpiess. The birds hold in their beaks the stripe with D. João I’s border, “for good”, and in their paws, the rose that may be an allusion to the House of Lancaster, to which Queen D. Filipa belonged.
The Magpies Room was where D. Sebastião heard Luíz Vaz de Camões reading “Os Lusíadas”. This is where the legend Almeida Garrett tells in “The Romanceiro”, a work from 1843. “It is said that D. João I was caught catching a kiss on the cheek or forehead to the most beautiful maiden of the Court of Sintra of its name Dona Mécia. And was caught by D. Filipa de Lencastre, English queen and addicted to the moral order. The king, upon being caught, will have said: “It was a kiss for good. She is very beautiful and I wanted to give her a kiss, nothing more than that. ”
The queen accepted the king’s apology, but behind the door were other maidens and went to speak ill of the king’s kiss. “The king, when he learned, did not like it. And to punish them he had 136 Magpiess painted on the ceiling of this room, presumably the number of Court maidens in Sintra at the time. The Magpiess have a reputation for making noise. And as they made a noise to say bad, he pokes a sentence saying: ‘For good’. But, as he was being accused of unfaithfulness, in the Magpies corresponding to the queen he placed a rose – a symbol of the house of Lencastre – and the phrase: ‘To whom I am faithful and clinging, to my wife and no other.’
D. Sebastião Room
D. Sebastião will have used this dependence as a sleeping chamber during his stays in Sintra. In the 15th century, in D. Duarte’s description of the Palace, this space is referred to as the Golden Chamber . This designation probably stems from a previous golden decoration of the ceiling or walls. The 16th-century wall décor features embossed tiled walls, topped with trimmed tiles with fleur-de-lis shaped mammoths. The frame of one of the windows has tiles with the armillary sphere, emblem of D. Manuel I.
According to D. Duarte’s description, it was here that in D. João I’s reign was the royal wardrobe, where garments, jewelry and personal effects were kept. The rectangular white marble door, which gives access to a spiral staircase connecting directly to the Arab Room, was later added.
Through a small door situated in the D. Sebastião Room and framed in an original tiled decorative composition, the visitor can peek at one of the Palace’s smallest rooms. Its designation, relatively recent, has to do with the painting of the ceiling, which represents 4 mermaids playing various musical instruments and surrounding, in the center, a mermaid emerging from the sea and a ship with Portuguese royal weapons. The Hispano-Moorish tiles on the walls, with motifs of grapevine, were replaced in the eighteenth century and resemble those of Quarto D. Sebastião. According to D. Duarte’s description, the function of this room was that of royal wardrobe.
Central Courtyard and Bath Cave
King John I organized his quarters around the Central Courtyard, with various functions, partly referred to in the Measuring Houses of Cintra manuscript , which King D. Duarte , his son, left. Its intimate situation, tile flooring and the sound of running water still seem to evoke the Arab architectural tradition. The impressive perspective on the gigantic double chimneys of the kitchen stands out, as well as the torsal column (in the center of the courtyard) and the rare fresco painting , in geometric pattern of illusionist effect ( trompe-l’oeil) , from D period. Manuel I.
The adjacent Grotto of Baths features tiled and stucco decoration from the second half of the 18th century. The rococo decorative program of stuccoes includes the Creation of the World (center panel), the Four Seasons (corners) and mythological themes. The blue and white tiled wall panels depict fountains, gardens and gallant scenes and conceal an ingenious system of cross-jerking. The water, flowing from two lines of tiny holes that surround the whole space, refreshed the atmosphere on hotter days and surprised the ladies in a “gallant game” so much like the time.
Probably D. João I’s bedroom. Through a spiral staircase, this room communicated with the king’s “wardrobe” (Mermaid Room). The current decoration, from the Manueline period, integrates tiles of various techniques, highlighting the geometric composition of three-dimensional effect. The sculptural ensemble of the central fountain, in gilded bronze, accentuates the exoticism of space.
Famous for its monumental double chimneys, 33 meters high, which mark the profile of the historic village of Sintra. The kitchen, which dates back to the 15th century, was designed for large hunting banquets, one of the court and nobility’s favorite occupations. Inside, there are a series of furnaces and two large ovens, as well as a greenhouse and a tin-plated copper kitchen train consisting of pots, fishmongers, pots, pans, casseroles and frying pans.
The white-tiled wall cladding (late 19th century) is contemporary with heraldic composition with the royal arms of Portugal and Savoy placed here in 1889, belonging to Queen Maria Pia , the last sovereign to inhabit the Palace.
Sintra National Palace
The Palace of Sintra (Portuguese: Palácio Nacional de Sintra), also called Town Palace (Palácio da Vila) is located in the town of Sintra, in the Lisbon District of Portugal. It is a present-day historic house museum.
It is the best-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal, being inhabited more or less continuously from at least the early 15th century to the late 19th century. It is a significant tourist attraction, and is part of the cultural landscape of Sintra, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
As the sole surviving mediaeval royal palace in Portugal, and the residence of the Portuguese royal family until 1910, the National Palace of Sintra can trace its origin back to the beginning of the Muslim period in the Iberian Peninsula.
It stands as a living testimony to some of the most successful moments in Portuguese history when the country opened up to new worlds, and its architecture and heritage became marked by the harmonious combination of Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance elements.
The palace’s outward profile has become famous for its two monumental cone-shaped chimneys, while its interior walls are lined with Europe’s largest set of Mudejar tiles still in place today. It also contains one of the country’s most important heraldic rooms and has some significant collections of decorative arts.