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The Mystical Quinta da Regaleira...

I did not know anything about this place before I visited the grounds of the Regaleira Palace and grounds in Sintra. If I had known that it was built at the turn of the 20th century by a Brazilian Coffee Millionaire using an Italian Opera-set designer to reflect his interest in the occult teachings from the Tarot, Masonry, alchemy, the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians, I might have spent much longer here than I did. The designer Luigi Manini created a romantic palace and chapel set on a luxurious hillside woodland park which features grottos, lakes, fountains, towers and a series of underground tunnels and passageways. Of course it is built on a hillside, which requires following steep paths to the summit and down again. I didn´t mind too much since around every corner was a new mysterious construction to admire and explore. After climbing up one tower to check out the scenery I decided to pull out a torch and go exploring the tunnels. These twisted and turned until I arrived at the Initiation well ( not a well but a spiral staircase down deep underground where Masonic and other Initiation Ceremonies were reportedly held on nights of the full moon. From the bottom you could look up and see light entering at the top of the inverted well. The tunnels then lead to the waterfall lake and across stepping stones into a woodland grotto. Further along the path were large fountains and caves (one of which held a statue of Leda and a swan). It was quite an idyllic woodland in the daytime, but at nighttime who knows what spirits, nymphs and satyrs roamed along the paths. (It had that feeling about it) The Palace and Chapel were both smallish buildings but were adorned with all kinds of spires and symbolic masonry. Even the masonry benches dotted around the estate were masterpieces of over the top gothic and renaissance decorative exuberance. I spent 3 hours wandering around Regaleira and left to grab a bite to eat before heading to check out a much larger Palace called Pena....

One of the guardians

One of the guardians


along the walk of the guardians

along the walk of the guardians


which lead the way

which lead the way


to the Palace of Regaleira

to the Palace of Regaleira


a gothic masterpiece

a gothic masterpiece


with spires to prove it

with spires to prove it


The Tower on the pathway

The Tower on the pathway


with views of the woods

with views of the woods


and the Terrace of the Celestial Worlds

and the Terrace of the Celestial Worlds


Guardians of a different kind

Guardians of a different kind


topped by a small viewing tower

topped by a small viewing tower


and this doorway into the underground tunnels

and this doorway into the underground tunnels


which lead eventually to the Initiation well

which lead eventually to the Initiation well


it gets darker

it gets darker


as you descend the spiral to the bottom

as you descend the spiral to the bottom


where tunnels lead to this waterfall grotto

where tunnels lead to this waterfall grotto


and stepping stones to escape the tunnels

and stepping stones to escape the tunnels


before climbing up past the small waterfall

before climbing up past the small waterfall


to the pathway out of the woods

to the pathway out of the woods


past the fountain of abundance

past the fountain of abundance


a closer view

a closer view


urns carrying diabolic symbology

urns carrying diabolic symbology


line all the pathways

line all the pathways


along with very old trees

along with very old trees


in Leda´s Cave

in Leda´s Cave


The greenhouse

The greenhouse


From when the Palace was a hunting Lodge

From when the Palace was a hunting Lodge


The Chapel Spire

The Chapel Spire


and the roof of the Chapel

and the roof of the Chapel


the Chapel from a distance

the Chapel from a distance


above the chapel entrance

above the chapel entrance


another view

another view


a ´simple´ bench seat

a ´simple´ bench seat


close up of seat

close up of seat


and on the other side

and on the other side


inside the palace

inside the palace


the walls are covered in  beautiful frescoes

the walls are covered in beautiful frescoes


the fireplace in the dining room

the fireplace in the dining room


and a photo of how it looked

and a photo of how it looked


another fresco

another fresco


and another

and another


leaving the Palace grounds

leaving the Palace grounds


over the bridge to the lower gate

over the bridge to the lower gate

Posted by astrix7 17:00 Archived in Portugal

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