Masterpiece of architectural art Pena Palace
About this Masterpiece of architectural art Pena Palace – English poet Lord Byron in his “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” said “Perhaps this is the most amazing of all that I have seen in Europe”. Pena Palace or Palacio Nacional da Pena (in Portuguese) – one of the most “romantic” castles in the world and one of the main attractions of Portugal. The complex of buildings and landscaped terrain, covering several hundred acres, appeared here in the XIX century, during the reign of King Ferdinand II, who wished to have his summer residence on a high hill near Lisbon.
One of the legends says that the place to build the future palace was pointed out by the Virgin Mary herself. During the reign of King Manuel I, who had a special love for this secluded place, began the construction of the monastery. For several centuries, the monastery Pena was private and quiet place, there lived only 15 monks.
In the XVIII century monastic buildings were hit by lightning. And in 1755 it was almost completely destroyed by the strongest earthquake. In the complex of buildings remained only the first chapel, all other facilities were in ruins. The half-destroyed it remained for several decades.
The second life of this village began in 1838 when the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Mary II was going to redeem the monastery and the nearby castle with surrounding territories. On the place of Monastery ruins Prince Ferdinand decided to build a summer residence for the royal family. And the result was not just a palace, but a real fairy tale.
By the way, the old chapel preserved and partially was integrated into the new buildings. Was erected an imposing clock tower and a wide terrace, which offers a most spectacular view of the palace. When there was the first owner of the castle, the Queen Mary II, the site was equipped with a special mechanism, and every day at noon several guns simultaneously produced volley.
As a designer Ferdinand II invited a German engineer and geologist Wilhelm Ludwig Baron von Eschwege, who was the author of the famous palace complex Pena. Romantic art of that time period affected the aesthetic features of the building: in the guise of neo-gothic castle are mixed neo-Renaissance, Moorish style, motifs of Islamic architecture. Pena National Palace as a whole is one of the brightest and most representative samples of eclecticism of that time.
The interiors of the palace, which are available for tourists, were designed according to the needs of all the royal family and made mostly in Victorian and Edwardian styles. Decorative finishes include amazing in its beauty murals, frescoes and mosaics. At the end of XX century facades of the castle have been restored and re-covered with red and yellow paint, those colors that were originally chosen for the decoration of the castle. Since 1995, the castle is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.