Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira is an interesting and intriguing garden, attached to the also interesting palace, connecting Neogothic and Manueline styles, which is located in Sintra, presently almost in the outskirts of Lisbon, in Portugal.

The property had a few owners in the past. It won its present name to Baroness da Regaleira, who bought this land in 1840 and transformed it into the summer residence. Exactly at that time, its name was change to Quinta da Torre da Regaleira. But the present shape of the garden was given by the other owner Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who introduced many Masonic features into its whole layout, where the phantasy and imagination reign. Since 1997 the palace and garden belongs to the Municipality of Sintra and already in 1998 the historical restoration of this place began under the administration of the Cultursintra Foundation.

The whole garden in located on the slope and covers the area of approx. 4 ha above the densely treed ground. But also the underground part of this garden is very interesting to the visitors in the form of big system of tunnels having multiple entries (some of them are not lighted, so it is advisable to take one's own lamp).

There are almost no straight walks, on the contrary the garden takes a visitor through the hairpin, offering different views and surprising at every turn or even at every step: lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, sculptures and even Manueline chapel. The whole garden is a collage of different styles and ideas.

There are two wells located in different parts of the garden, so called Initiations Wells. They are connected with each other by one of underground walks. They never served as water wells but were built and used for ceremonial purposes. The concept of the garden bases on the duality: sky and ground, light and darkness, man and god.

The bigger Well (and more visited one as well) contains a 27-metre spiral staircase with 139 steps in 9 levels (9 circles of hell, 9 steps of heaven) presenting the way, when the visitor should face their weakness by going down. At the end of the stairs, he or she must face another challenge: the darkness. The is no return, he must go further, until he will find the exit to the light. The smaller one is called often the 'Unfinished Well'.

Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro has influence not only on the buildings and other constructions of this garden but the plants as well. He introduced many foreign species, first of all his favourite bromelias (he was born in Brazil).

During the second part of XX century many exotic plant species were replaced by domestic ones. The reconstruction works brought back its original appearance, whre bromelias taking the prominent place along with mosses, agapanthus, ferns and bergenias.

In the bottom part of the garden, just along the wall, separating it from the outer world, the Promenade of the Gods is located. It is an avenue featured with statues of classical gods like Orpheus, Venus, Flora, Hermes and others. The interesting facts about this avenue is, that it was restored (in XX century) based only on one old photo.








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Promenade of the Gods
Quinta da Regaleira
Portal of the Guardians
stairs in the Cistern
Quinta da Regaleira
Initiatic Well
Initiatic Well
Underground walk
Unfinished Well
Unfinished Well
Lake of the Waterfall
Lake of the Waterfall
Lake of the Waterfall
Lake of the Waterfall
Lake of the Waterfall
Lake of the Waterfall
Quinta da Regaleira
Underground walk
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira
Regaleira Tower
Regaleira Tower
bridge
Chapel
Chapel
Chapel
Pisoes Loggia
Pisoes Loggia
Lake
bench
Lake
Lake
Lake
Lake
bench
Fountain of Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira
Promenade of the Gods
Promenade of the Gods