Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Reglaeira is, well, I am not sure what it is.  The summer retreat for Baroness da Regaleira, as a start.  Then it was sold to Antonio Ausgusto de Carvalho Monteiro who added parcels of land to give his properties a pentagonal outline.  He was the one who initiated the building that give this place its current look.  The chief architect was a set designer who, if he were alive today, would probably be designing video games. Walking through this place is a bit like playing one, or, more accurately, being a character in one.  The last owner was Waldemar Jara d'Oray, who also made some modifications

I Think I See A Light In Yonder Tower

How many places do you visit that have a little chapel just down the path...

Why Wouldn't You Go In

Don't forget the semi-hidden stairway behind the piller.  It leads you down to the crypt.

Just Give Me A Hand With The Lid

Of course, you have to have the apparent dead-end path that actually ends at a stone door.

Hinges Could Use A Little Oil

And statuary that hides the entrance to a series of tunnels.

Beware What Lurks Behind

Tunnels that lead to the -

Initiatic Well

The Initiatic Well is not really a well, more like a subterranean tower that is about 27 meters deep.  A spiral stairway leads to the top.

Going Up

Looking Down

And the tunnels have surprises as well, like all of a sudden looking out into a little pond.

I Thought I Was Underground

The whole complex, or whatever you want to call it, is built on what appears to be the side of a cliff. 

Vertigo Inducing

As a result it can be a bit disorienting when you are in a tunnel and where you pop out can be a surprise.

Just Like Alice

And, just to add to the spookiness, the property that this sits on is in the shape of a pentagram.

There are also nice flower gardens, and all sorts of statues.  Like I said, this place was so interesting that we came here twice because we didn't see it all the first time and missed the caves.

Flowers Amongst The Flowers

And A Little Lake With A Black Swan

I could write for pages on this place, but I am not going to.  I will just let the pictures do the talking.  If you are ever in Lisbon or anywhere nearby, I heartily recommend that you visit.  It is in a little town called Sintra that is just a short train ride away from Lisbon.  I will be talking more about Sintra because we also visited a palace while we were there and had a couple of nice meals as well.

A Friendly Bunny - Run Away

And Yet Another Tower

I have noticed that the Mysterious Sister seems to like to climb towers and visit high places.

Top Of The World, Ma

And, Of Course, Black Cats

A Bit Of A Break

A Hidden Fount

Picture Taking

Exploring The Caves

Terrace Of The Gods

Going Who Knows Where

Another Hidden Tunnel Entrance

Bridge To The Main Entrance

And there you go.  One of the most interesting places I have ever visited, anywhere in the world.  I just kept wondering what must have been going through the minds of those who designed this, and whoever paid for it all.  There is all kinds of symbology embedded in just about everything.  The Initiatic Well, for example, is supposed to intensify the feeling of the relationship between heaven and earth.  And the area of Sintra is also known as the Promontory of the Moon.

Quinta da Reglaeira was closed for ten years after it was purchased by a Japanese corporation.  I was talking to a lady and she said that when it was closed people would tresspass and throw parties down in the tunnels.  Now that sounds like fun.  The Municipality of Sintra bought it in 1997 and now it is open to the public, for a fee.


蔡靜芳蔡靜芳 said...


Jam said...

Great photos! Would love to visit one day. How much is the entrance fee? Is it easily accessible?