Monserrate Palace

The traditional summer resort of the Portuguese Royal Family.

TravelCurious Tip

The Monserrate Palace lies a few kilometres west of Sintra. To make a day of it, combine a trip to the palace with visits to the Convento dos Capuchos and the Quinta da Regaleira.

A Brit Abroad

Built in the 19th century, the palace was commissioned by Francis Cook, an English textile baron, who used it as a summer retreat. Inspired by the cultures of the many countries he had dealings with, he wanted a little bit of everything in his palace, and that’s what he got. In a town not short on extravagance, the Monserrate Palace stands out for its wild eclecticism, blending Gothic, Indian, Moorish and Manueline influences in an architectural orgy.


The eclecticism extends to the garden as well, which has species from all corners of the world planted according to their geographical origin. Clever design was used to embrace the unique microclimates of the region, creating niches for thousands of exotic species. The result is one of Portugal’s richest botanical gardens. Set in the cool, blue-skied clime of Sintra, it is divine. Wander among the scents, colours, and exotic latin species names that read like incantations.

Out Of Chaos, Order

Lord Byron was among the famous literary figures to be enchanted by palace, and when you step inside you can see why. The interior mixes all these stylistic influences, and manages to emerge as harmonious, rather than chaotic. It is breathtaking: exuberant, but not over-the-top. Although it is relatively small among the palaces of Sintra, its exquisite stonework and luminous domed ceilings could hold you there for hours.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Quinta da Regaleira
This romantic UNESCO World Heritage Site displays the wealth and extravagance of the Portuguese elite.
Tuk Tuk in Sintra
Discover the city in a unique way aboard a tuk-tuk.
Fountain of the little birds
An Islamic pavilion with a hexagonal footprint topped by a dome, and inside between some benches a fountain with clear water.
Valley of the Lakes
Two unique castle-like duck houses add to the magical ambience of the place along with the soundtrack of trickling water and the odd plop of feeding fish.
Well of Initiation
This ceremonial well features a spiral staircase into a tunnel system that connects it to other monuments and caves around the park.
Portal of the Guardians
One of the main features is the Portal of the Guardians which stands at one end of a courtyard. This long curved structure is flanked by two towers with a central pavilion, hiding the entrance to a tunnel that leads to the Initiation Well.

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