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Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is one of the most amazing monuments in the Serra de Sintra. Located at the end of the historic center of the village, it was built between 1904 and 1910, in the last period of the monarchy.

The romantic domains formerly belonging to Viscondessa da Regaleira, were acquired and expanded by Dr. António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848-1920) to found his place of choice. Holder of a prodigious fortune, which earned him the nickname Monteiro dos Milhões, he associated with his unique architecture and landscape project the creative genius of the Italian architect and scenographer Luigi Manini (1848-1936) as well as the mastery of sculptors, gardeners and carvers who had worked with him at the Palace Hotel in Buçaco.
The architecture and art of the palace, chapel and other buildings were designed in the context of an Edenic garden, highlighting the predominance of neo-Manueline and Renaissance styles.
The garden, representing the microcosm, is revealed by the succession of places imbued with magic and mystery. Paradise is materialized in coexistence with an inferius - a Dantesque underground world - to which the neophyte would be led by Ariadne's thread of initiation.
With these scenarios, the representation of an initiatory journey, like vera peregrinatio mundi, through a symbolic garden where we can feel the Harmony of the Spheres and examine the alignment of an ascesis of consciousness that travels through the great epics, materializes. In it are glimpsed references to mythology, Olympus, Virgil, Dante, Camões, the Templar mission of the Order of Christ, great mystics and thaumaturges, the enigmas of Real Art, the Magical Work of Alchemia. In this symphony of stone, the poetic and prophetic dimension of a Portuguese Philosopher's Mansion is revealed. Here Heaven and Earth merge in a sensitive reality, the same that presided over the theory of the Beautiful, of Architecture and of Music, that the acoustic shell of the Terrace of the Celestial Worlds allows to propagate for the infinite.
The Quinta and points of interest

Carvalho Monteiro had the desire to build a grandiose space, in which he lived surrounded by all the symbols that mirrored his interests and ideologies. Conservative, monarchical and Gnostic Christian, Carvalho Monteiro wanted to resurrect Portugal's most glorious past, hence the predominance of the neo-Manueline style with its connection to the discoveries. This evocation of the past also includes Gothic art and some classic elements. The diversity of Quinta da Regaleira is enriched with symbolism of esoteric themes related to alchemy, Freemasonry, Templars and Rosicrucian

The forest, which occupies most of the Quinta's space, is not haphazard: it starts out more orderly and tidy in the lower part of the farm but becomes progressively more wild until we reach the top. This provision reflects Carvalho Monteiro's belief in primitivism.

Land of the Gods
The Patamar dos Deuses is made up of 9 statues of the Greco-Roman gods. Classical mythology was one of Carvalho Monteiro's inspirations for the gardens of Regaleira.
The terrace where statues of various divine beings are lined up along the way. Here we find twelve figures from Greco-Roman mythology that must be interpreted as the twelve Creative Hierarchies, represented in the signs of the Zodiac as well as the statue of a lion (which dates back to the time when the Quinta belonged to the Baroness of Regaleira), who it is a representation of the sun that is equivalent in Alchemy to Gold.
It is marked by the alignment of 9 statues of classical deities, including Fortuna, Orpheus, Venus, Flora, Ceres, Pan, Dionysus, Vulcano and Hermes.
The Mystical side, right at the entrance, the immense Garden and its Edenic spaces, the representation of the microcosm, is revealed by the succession of places imbued with magic and mystery. The 'Paradise' is materialized in coexistence with "inferius" - an underground world through which the neophyte would be guided by Ariadne's thread of Initiation - with these scenarios, the representation of an initiatic journey, like "vera peregrinatio mundi", becomes concrete. a symbolic path where we can feel the Harmony of the Spheres and examine the alignment of an asceticism of consciousness that travels through the great epics.
In it are glimpsed references to mythology, Olympus, Virgil, Dante, Camões, the Templar mission of the Order of Christ, great mystics and thaumaturges, the enigmas of Real Art, the Magical Work of Alchemy "...

Initiative Well
It is an underground gallery with a spiral staircase, supported by sculpted columns, which goes down to the bottom of the well. The staircase consists of nine levels separated by flights of 15 steps each, invoking references to Dante's Divine Comedy and which may represent the 9 circles of Hell, Paradise, or Purgatory. According to the renowned occultists Albert Pike, René Guénon and Manly Palmer Hall it is in the work The Divine Comedy that is exposed for the first time to the Rosicrucian Order. At the bottom of the well, a wind rose is embedded in marble (eight-pointed star: 4 major or cardinal, 4 minor or collateral) on a Templar cross, which is the heraldic emblem of Carvalho Monteiro and, simultaneously, indicative of the Rosicrucian Order. [6]
The well is said to be initiatic because it is believed that it was used in rituals to initiate Freemasonry and the explanation of the symbolism of the same nine levels is said to be found in the concept Rosicrucian Cosmos.
The symbolism of the place is related to the belief that the earth is the maternal womb from which life comes, but also the grave to which it will return. Many initiation rites allude to aspects of birth and death linked to the land, or rebirth. The existence of 23 niches located under the steps of the initiatic well represented one of the many mysteries of that construction. On December 29, 2010, Professor Gabriel Fernández Calvo of the Higher Technical School of Engineers of Paths, Canals and Ports at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Ciudad Real, when he visited the well accompanied by other UCLM professors, noted that 23 niches are not placed by chance, as they are grouped in three sets of 17, 1 and 5 niches separated from each other as you descend to the bottom of the well. This organization is not random and probably refers to the year 1715 when Francisco Albertino Guimarães de Castro bought the property (known as Quinta da Torre or do Castro) by public auction.
The well is connected by several galleries or tunnels to other points of the Quinta, the Entrance of the Guardians, the Lago da Cascata and the Imperfect Well. These tunnels, once inhabited by bats away from the many tourists who visit the place, are covered with stone imported from the seafront of the Peniche region, a stone that suggests a submerged world.

Chapel of the Holy Trinity
Composed of a magnificent façade that emphasizes Gothic and Manueline revivalism, Santa Teresa d'Ávila and Santo António are represented in it. In the middle, the entrance is surmounted by the Mystery of the Annunciation - the angel Gabriel goes down to earth to tell Mary that she will have a son of the Lord - and God the Father is enthroned.
Inside, on the main altar, Jesus is seen after being resurrected to crown Mary. On the right side, Santa Teresa and Santo António are repeated, this time in mosaic panels. On the opposite side, a stained glass window depicting the miracle of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré to D. Fuas Roupinho. On the floor are represented the Armillary Sphere or Celestial Globe and the Cross of the Order of Christ, surrounded by pentagrams (five-pointed stars).
The Regaleira Tower
It was built to give those who climb it the illusion of being on the axis of the world.

The Palace
The main building of the Quinta is marked by the presence of an octagonal tower. The sculptor José da Fonseca was in charge of all the exuberant decoration.

Sintra, Lisboa
34 min - 27km to Lisbon
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