Some people are not aware of what a World Heritage Site is. To put it in simpler terms, it is an area or landmark with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO. They have protected many historical landmarks, and one of those landmarks is the famous Quinta da Regaleira.
History of Quinta da Regaleira
You can find the historic “Quinta” situated beside the historic center of Sintra, Portugal. It is one of the most visited places by tourists, alongside Pena, Quinta do Relógio, Seteais, and Monserrate. Back then, it was owned by several owners throughout the years. Several of these owners were the Viscountess of Regaleira, Carvalho Monteiro, Waldemar d’Orey, Aoki Corporation, and the Sinatra Town Council.
The Viscountess of Regaleira first owned it, a wealthy family of merchants from Porto until Carvalho Monteiro bought it for 25,000 réis in 1892. Monteiro planned to create a perplexing Quinta where he could gather symbols that would reflect his ideologies and interests. He managed to get help from an Italian architect named Luigi Manini, where they both recreated the 4-hectare estate. Manini and Monteiro’s vision helped construct puzzling buildings that supposedly had alchemy symbols, the Knights Templar, Masonry, and Manueline features. They started construction of the estate in 1904 and was almost completed by 1910.
Later on, Waldemar d’Orey bought the house in 1942 that he used as a private residence for his large family. He ordered workers to restore and repair most of the property. And fast forward to 1987, it was sold again to the Japanese Aoki Corporation that discontinued the building as a residence.
And after ten years of being closed off by the public, the Sintra Town Council bought the estate in 1997. They quickly made repairs, renovations, and maintenance work on the estate until it was finally accessible to the public in June 1998. They also started doing cultural events to commemorate the opening of the estate. In August 1998, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture indexed the estate as “public interest property.”
The Inside of the Estate
When you get the chance to visit the estate, you will notice the large palace. It contains a ground floor, three upper levels, and a basement. The ground floor has a floorway that connects to other areas. The first upper floor contains a dressing room and bedrooms, the second holds Carvalho Monteiro’s workspace and the female servants’ bedrooms, and the third has an ironing room that leads to a smaller room that provides access to the terrace. Lastly, the basement holds the kitchen, the male servant’s bedrooms, and several storage rooms. You should also find several other buildings like the park, chapel, Initiation Wells, and other ornamental structures around the estate.
Ensure you do not miss out on visiting the Quinta da Regaleira when you take a trip to the charming country of Portugal.