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Quinta da Regaleria
by
Kathy Sullivan

Quinta da RegaleriaOur March 2018 tour of Portuguese wineries with e-Spain and Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program tour included an opportunity to see and experience Portuguese historic sites and cultural activities.

One of our early cultural experiences was to visit Quinta da Regaleira, located in Sintra, a small historic town on UNESCO’s site. Visitors park in Sintra and walk a considerable distance through the picturesque town and past historic buildings and up a slope to reach the Quinta da Regaleira located on the outskirts of the town. We quickly learned that Quinta da Regaleira was named for an early owner of the property. Baroness da Regaleira purchased the property in 1840 and the name became Quinta da Torre da Regaleira. Much later Quinta da Regaleira, a massive fixture of Sintra, became António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro’s summer residence. It is interesting to note when visiting this large, ornate summer house and contemplating the cost of this property, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro’s nickname was Monteiro dos Milhões, (Moneybags Monteiro).

Quinta da RegaleriaQuinta da RegaleriaVisitors can enjoy the extensive landscaping including many winding pathways that meander throughout the property, long tunnels, grottos and a very deep well, known as the Initiatic Well. As you walk through the property, look for signs of symbolism including mythology, Dante’s Inferno, Knights Templar and alchemy.

We arrived rather late in the day for our visit to this large summer house. The majority of the time we spent enjoying the views of the “castle” set amongst trees and shrubs and meandering through the extensive tunnel system. Numerous types of plants to look for in the park-like area include: cedar, Norfolk Island Pine, Cypress, Camelia, tree ferns, yew, pine tree and sequoia.

 

While making your way through this fairy tale-like property, look to the top of a high hill to see a stone fortification wall. There is so much to see at this site, we would love to make a return trip to Quinta da Regaleira.

When planning your visit to Quinta da Regaleira, be sure to add an hour or more to your schedule and enjoy a leisurely walk along the many pathways and underground tunnels.

 

Quinta da Regaleira, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal



Article written February 2019


 


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