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:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.