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Monserrate the exotic and romantic garden

Visiting the Monserrate Palace in the Sintra Mountain take us to the immensity of a space with gardens of exotic plants from various parts of the world, with the romanticism of Portugal being present. It is also part of this romanticism, the beautiful Palace that combines Gothic, Indian and Moorish influences.

Among some illustrious owners who passes through the former farm of Monserrate, Francis Cook the English textile millionaire Viscount of Monserrate stands out for the creation what is now the Palace of Monserrate.

Thus it was in the year 1863 that Francis Cook’s project, together has been completed together with the intervention of the architect James Knowles and other figures such as the landscape architect William Stockdale, the botanist William Nevil and James Burt the master gardener. This beautiful Palace of Monserrate together with its Park was Francis Cooks’s summer holiday residence.

We then have started our journey from Lisbon travelling about thirty kilometers to the Palace of Monserrate.

Map Lisbon Palace of Monserrate Sintra

Location map of Palace of Monserrate

The schematic map below shows the main points visited at the Palace of Monserrate and it will serve as the reference for the pictures.

Map Palace of Monserrate Sintra

Schematic map of Palace of Monserrate source

A few meters of the entrance it is the fantastic Vathek Arch, alluding to the former owner of the farm of Monserrate, the writer William Beckford and his literary novel Vathek. We then went down the slope entering to the Park where we have enjoyed the view of the waterfall, the lakes, the ruin of the Chapel and countless plant species in particular in the Mexico Garden.

The Arch of Vathek Palace of Monserrate SintraThe Vathek Arch

Lake Hippocrene Palace of Monserrate SintraLake Hippocrene (A) a reference to the legendary fountain of Greek Mitology
Lake Hippocrene  Palace of Monserrate SintraStill on the Lake Hippocrene with a passage of boulders
Waterfall of Beckford Palace of Monserrate SintraBeckford Waterfall (B)
Carnaubeira Palace of Monserrate SintraCarnaubeira a species of palm tree in the Beckford Waterfall
Valley of Ferns Palace of Monserrate SintraOn the way to Valley of Ferns
Valley of Ferns Palace of Monserrate SintraIn the Valley of Ferns (C)

 Valley of Ferns Palace of Monserrate SintraA collection of ferns

Ruínas da Capela Palácio de Monserrate SintraLateral view of the ruins of Chapel (D)
Ruínas da Capela Palácio de Monserrate SintraIn the interior of the ruins of Chapel

A taxodium tree Palace of Monserrate  A giant taxodium tree on the way to the Ornamental Lakes

 Ornamental Lakes Palace of MonserrateIn the Ornamental Lakes (E) with a view to the Palace in the bottom

banana tree Palace of Monserrate SintraA banana tree in the garden area of Mexico (F)
Agaves Palace of Monserrate SintraAgave species around the sidewalk
A palm tree Mexico Garden  Palace of Monserrate SintraA palm tree in the Mexico Garden
Yucca gigantea Mexico Garden Yucca gigantea plant in the Mexico Garden
furcraea selloa Palace of Monserrate SintraFurcraea selloa plant in the Mexico Garden
Echeveria Palace of Monserrate SintraEcheveria species at the top of the Mexico Garden
Prickly pear cactus Mexico Garden Palace of Monserrate SintraPrickly pear cactus at the top of Mexico Garden Strawberry tree fruit in Mexico Garden SintraStrawberry tree fruit at the top of Mexico Garden

 Búnia of Austrália Palace of Monserrate Sintra Under the Australian bunya pine of the araucaria species at the top of Mexico Garden

After visiting the Mexico Garden we climb the grass area (G) of the ramp with a view of the lateral facade of the Palace. There, the landscape has a fantastic view with a huge green space to walk and also enjoy part of the Sintra Mountain.

Palace of Monserrate SintraThe walk to the grass area. Behind part of the Sintra Mountain
Cameciparis  Palace of  MonserrateSpecies Cameciparis (China)

Palace of Monserrate SintraView from the grass area to the Palace

 Palace of Monserrate arches  gothic moorish  indian Lateral facade of the Palace with arches of Gothic and Moorish inflences

The Palace has a gallery along the atrium where some pieces of Francis Cook’s collection are exhibited as well as several rooms for various events by that time, the Library and private rooms.

Palace of Monserrate SintraOn the way to to the Palace along the balcony Fountain  atrium Palace of Monserrate SintraThe fountain in the entrance of the Palace
The Main Atrium Dome Palace of MonserrateThe Main Atrium Dome in octagonal shape with the Gothic arches Gallery Atrium  Central Palace of Monserrate SintraCentral Gallery Atrium in Gothic, and exotic Indian and Moorish style
Music Room Palace of MonserrateMusic Room. The social gathering place for Francis Cook´s guests Living Room Palace of MonserrateVisiting room where visitors were received and for informal and family gatherings
Library door Palace of MonserrateThe beautiful library door
Library Palace of Monserrate SintraGeneral view of Library

Chapel  Palace of  Monserrate SintraView of the Chapel window

Kitchen Palace of  Monserrate SintraThe kitchen below the Atrium

Palace of Monserrate SintraOn the upper floor where the private rooms were located

Tower Palace of MonserrateA circular turret at the exit of the Palace steps perfumed Palace of Monserrate SintraView of the steps perfumed near the Indian Arch
 Indian Arch Palace of Monserrate SintraThe Indian Arch (I)
Entrance Palace of Monserrate SIntraAt the exit of Palace of Monserrate

The exotic romanticism of the Palace of Monserrate with its huge natural Park with countless plant species and the harmony of the Palace’s interior architecture with the garden is the true beauty and it reflects the tranquility of a space where his creator passionately wanted to leave his leagcy.

We love! We also hope that our readers and travel lovers might visit and relive the romanticism and exoticism of the Palace of Monserrate.

References Parques de Sintra

Thanks to Manuel Manero for blogging recommendations

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Rui Vasconcelos

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