Parque da Pena
Gardens, Parks and Forests
The fruit of King Fernando II´s vivid imagination, Pena Park reflects the intellectual and artistic trends of the 19th century, the era of Romanticism. Together with the architect Baron de Eschwege and the engineer Baron Kessler, King Fernando drew up plans for the entire parkland that surrounded the Pena Palace.
Rejecting the formal rigidity of classical gardens and respecting the rugged terrain, the fertile soil, the unique climate of the Sintra mountain and the breathtaking views, Fernando II attempted to simulate an almost perfect state of nature. Just as the Pena Palace is based on architectural follies inspired from opera settings and distant lands, the Park was also designed with diverse contrasting environments distinguished by the presence of many surprising and exotic features. In order to implement this idea King Fernando integrated the vestiges left by the Jeronimo monks in the park and the palace.
He designed lakes connected via waterfalls and imported species from the four corners of the world into the forests and woodlands - Japanese Cedars, ferns from New-Zealand, cedars from the Lebanon, candelabra trees from Brazil, arborvitae from North America and countless specimens from Portugal - a total of over 2000 species. The King also littered the park with extravagant pavilions, fountains, springs, small secluded corners and miradors.
The visiting time for the park's sign-posted itinerary is normally around 1 hour and 15 minutes (around 4 km).
On arrival in Sintra, there are signs indicating the way to Pena Park. There are also public transport buses from the town centre to Pena Park.