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Best Of 2021

(January – December 2021)

Dave Albright

Best Sagebrush of 2021 Part 1

Rodrigo Alarcón-Cielock

Pena Palace

Estrada da Pena Sintra 2710-609

23/08/2021, 15:49:09

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© 2021 Rodrigo Alarcón-Cielock, All Rights Reserved.


The Pena Palace (Portuguese: Palácio da Pena) is a Romanticist castle in Sao Pedro de Penaferrim, in the municipality of Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera. The castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Secen Wonders of Portugal. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Potuguese Republic and other government officials.

The castle's history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Vigin Mary.

In 1493, King John II, accompanied by his wife Queen Leonor, made a pilgrimage to the site to fulfil a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, was also very fond of this sanctuary, and ordered the construction of a monastery on this site, which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. For centuries, Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation, housing a maximum of eighteen monks.

In the 18th century, the monastery was severely damaged by lightning. However, it was the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, occurring shortly afterwards, that took the heaviest toll on the monastery, reducing it to ruins. Nonetheless, the chapel and its works of marble and alabaster attributed to Nicolau Chanterene escaped without significant damage.

  • Canon R6
  • Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm / f11
  • 360Precision "Atome" panoramic head
  • Manfroto monopod

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