That first afternoon in Sintra, we caught the city bus up the hill to the Regaleira Estate (Quinta de la Regaleira). I didn’t know what to expect, but what a feast for eyes and senses. The building itself is an amazing example of Gothic architecture, but just as impressive, if not more so, are the expansive grounds.
Tunnels, gardens, paths, grottos, a chapel with a hidden exit – I can only imagine what it must have been like in its heyday. During our visit it was overrun with Spanish teenagers, but hey, that’s what you get.
Inside the residence there’s a wealth of detail.
Inlaid ceilings, gorgeous carvings, mosaic tiles, hand-carved ceilings and doorways dripping with creatures.
The family had a private chapel with an underground exit. Except the chapel only held about 15 people, so if you decide to skip out on the service, did they think no one would notice?
Does it remind you of a giant drip castle?
We walked every step up in this spiraling former cistern.
And explored the hidden walkways of the tunnels.
By the end, I was on sensory overload.
I’d definitely love to go back and explore again.
Especially with my favorite exploring buddy – you know, the one who carries the backpack.