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:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.