Each month, I showcase a beautiful castle from somewhere around the world. I hope you enjoy this page, and that it inspires you to find your own home and make it your castle.
Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
Pena Palace is a beautiful palace at the top of a hill, overlooking Lisbon. It is one of the major examples of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
The roots of Pena Palace began in 1493, when King John II of Portugal ordered the construction of a small monastery at the site to honor the Virgin Mary. It remained a small monastery for centuries, until it was demolished by the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, with only the original chapel and its beautiful works of alabaster and marble surviving relatively intact.
The ruins remained untouched until 1838, when King Ferdinand II acquired the monastery, surrounding land, and nearby estates, and decided to build a grand palace to serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family.
It didn't last long as a royal residence, when the monarchy was overthrown in the Republican Revolution of 1910. It was later classified as a national monument and transformed into a museum. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other officials.