February 18, 2023. Location scouting day
Monserrate Palace Sintra, Portugal.
“Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes in variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah me! what hand can pencil guide or pen, to follow half on which the eye dilates through views more dazzling unto mortal ken than those whereof such things the bard relates, who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium’s gates.” Lord Byron
Today I’m scouting for our new adventures with Alice. In the next episode we travel in time. So I’m looking for a palace. A masterpiece. And extremely romantic of course. Ideally, a masterpiece of romantic architecture.
According to my research, The Monserrate palace is the one.
Back in the 19th century, it was home to Sir Francis Cook a wealthy merchant and art collector. Cook had a taste for traveling. I guess he wanted to bring the things he liked to his place. That’s why the design of the Monserrate palace combines Gothic, Moorish, and Indian influences.
The palace underwent a major restoration in the late 20th century. They say today, Monserate looks like in its heyday.
As I wander through the palace gardens, covering an area of approximately 30 hectares, I can’t help but wonder about the secrets and love stories that may have occurred here. Cook could definitely boast about the collection of plants from all over the world. The design of the garden is inspired by the gardens of the Islamic world, as well as the British garden style.
Surely there are more fascinating stories about this place waiting to be discovered.