Quinta da Regaleira is a palatial estate located near the historic center of Sintra in Portugal. It is also known as the Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire, named after its first owner, Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. This ancient palace is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the “Cultural Landscape of Sintra” along with the other castles in the area.
Quinta da Regaleira History
The land where the Quinta da Regaleira now stands had many owners through the years. But sometime in 1892, it was purchased by Carvalho Monteiro who wished to build a palace where he could express his own interests and ideologies. He started designing uniquely looking buildings on the 4-hectare land with the help of Italian architect Luigi Manini. The construction of the estate started in 1904. Most of the buildings were completed by 1910.
Regaleira Palace is the main focal structure of the whole estate. The facade of palace is characterized by Gothic pinnacles, capitals and gargoyles, which was borne out of the estate owner’s interest in signs and symbolism. In fact, it is said that the whole estate was built to hide symbolisms related to Masonry, alchemy, the Knights Templar and other ancient groups and sects.
The design of the Regaleira Palace and of the entire estate is influenced by a number of styles, notably by Gothic, Roman, Renaissance and Manueline architecture. The palace has five floors fronted by an impressive octagonal tower. In front of the palace’s main facade is the Regaleira Chapel, a Roman Catholic chapel designed similarly to the palace in the background. Its interior is adorned with frescoes, stained glass windows and lavish stuccoes. Despite its size, the chapel actually is composed of several floors.