The spookiness of the gardens are not something to share with a crowd. Get there early to avoid them and really feel the chill of the occult!
Match Made In Heaven
Commissioned by the Brazilian coffee tycoon António Carvalho Monteiro, who was also known as Monteiro dos Milhões (Moneybags Monteiro), and dreamed up by an Italian opera-set designer, the Quinta da Regaleira was always going to be special.
The palace itself stands five floors tall with an exuberantly gothic façade, replete with pinnacles, a foreboding octagonal tower and enough grimacing gargoyles to fill any child’s nightmares. It is more than just gothic though, as there are also Egyptian, Moorish and Manueline features. The result is truly unique and more than warrants the brief journey from Sintra.
Double, Double Toil and Trouble
However, as spectacular as the palace is, the real magic is in the garden, where the owner’s mystic ideologies reveal themselves in every nook and grotto. It is full of references to the occult: to the Knights Templar, the Masons and sinister alchemy.
The twin wells are undoubtedly the spookiest part. Never used for water, it is thought that they were instead part of an initiation ceremony for the Knights Templar. Within them, two winding staircases spiral down nine platforms and 27 metres. Each platform is said to represent one of the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of purgatory and the nine skies of paradise. At the bottom there is a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been Monteiro’s herald. Although their use is shrouded in mystery, the beauty and symbology of the wells is plain to see.
Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.
Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.