Quinta do Relógio is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the 'Cultural Landscape of Sintra'. Along with the nearby palaces such as Seteais Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira next to it, it is considered one of the tourist attractions of Sintra. The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a park.
The estate, or quinta in Portuguese, was acquired by José de Sousa Coutinho, 15th Count of Redondo during the second half of the 18th century. During the reign of Dom Pedro V of Portugal, the architect António Manuel da Fonseca Jr. was commissioned to design and construct the palace. His design was influenced by Romanticism and Mudéjar Moorish Revival architecture with Neo-Manueline elements. The style is similar to nearby Monserrate Palace and elements of Pena Palace. The Islamic architectural influence is in reference to when the region was a part of the wider Muslim Gharb Al-Andalus until the 13th century.
The palace is considered one of the most important monuments of the Portuguese Moorish Revival style. The house has four floors with about 1500m2 of floor area. Next to the actual palace is also the house of servants, which has been refurbished. The estate has fallen into disrepair in the last couple of years and has been put of for sale.
The garden is designed in a romantic style with a lake, several springs and fountains and is surrounded by lush greenery with rare species such as pines, centuries-old oak trees, palm trees, cedars, magnolias, camellias and fuchsias, among many others.
The park offers views towards the Castle of the Moors.References:
The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.
The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.
The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.