Situated at the top of a hill, following the wishes of Ferdinand II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, king consort and husband of Queen Maria II, Pena Park and Palace are Portugal's greatest examples of nineteenth-century Romanticism and the most important element in the cultural landscape of Sintra - World Heritage Site.
The building of the palace began in 1839 around the ruins of an old Hieronymite monastery erected in the sixteenth century by King Manuel I and acquired by Ferdinand. It incorporates architectural references of Manueline and Moorish influences which give rise to a surprising 'One Thousand and One Nights' effect. The modest initial plans to restore the building as a summer residence for the royal family progressed to the eventual building of a grand palace. The decorative tastes of King Fernando II (the 'Artist King'), along with those of the last Queen of Portugal, Dona Amélia de Orleáns e Bragança, are evident in the decoration of the interiors, through which this book provides a fascinating tour.