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Holiday spirit sweeps the parks and monuments of Sintra

The month of December arrives in the parks and monuments of Sintra brimming with Holiday spirit. To commemorate the festive season, there is a range of different initiatives all wrapped up in color, music and animation to help you get away from the hassles of shopping and share some quality moments of happiness whether in the company of family or friends.

Immediately on 1 December, there is the lighting of the National Palace of Sintra Christmas tree, which is to fill Queen D. Amélia Square with sparkling light. Standing 15 metres tall, the tree remains on display throughout the month and decorated with around 200 red and white 3D baubles. There is also an inner passageway to allow visitors to take photographs from within its expanse. The unveiling is commemorated with a concert on the monument’s entrance staircase, at 6pm, by the Lisbon Youth Choir, conducted by the maestro Nuno Margarido Lopes. There is free entrance according to the availability of seats (audience capacity of 200 places).

The Queen D. Amélia Square, between 1 and 23 December, from 10am to 6pm, will also be hosting the Christmas Market organised by Sintra Municipal Council.

PenaPalaceInSintra_by_António_Sacchetti-T09ARH0R

From 14 to 23 December, the outer facades of the National Palace of Queluz to take on life through hosting the video mapping “Christmas Workshop”. This performance, with sessions taking place at 6pm, 6.30 pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm, tells the story of Nicholas, an artisan who dedicates himself to gathering and restoring forgotten or lost toys. Over the course of the projection, the audience witnesses the transformation of this ordinary person into the legendary character of Father Christmas. In addition to serving as a metaphor for the conservation and restoration work carried out by Parques de Sintra in recent years at the National Palace of Queluz, the event also seeks to convey a message of more responsible consumption at this time of the year.

On December17, as from 2.30pm, holiday preparations really get under way on the Farmyard of Monserrate, with the activities “It’s Christmas on the Farm!” Participants are invited to search these surroundings in order to discover the special ingredients for biscuits, to make potpourri bags to gift to their families and friends and to get the Christmas decorations ready.

However, the program on offer at the parks and monuments of Sintra does not only live off Christmas. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Francis Cook, on 30 November, the Palace of Monserrate hosts the inauguration of the exhibition “Monserrate Revisited – The Cook Collection in Portugal”, which brings back to this site pieces from the family collection of the Cooks, who lived in the Palace of Monserrate in the 19th century. This temporary exhibition presents the architectural and landscape projects developed for the Sintra property alongside the art collection displayed there and represents the culmination of the first phase in an extensive research project into the work of art held in public and private collections. This exhibition remains on display until 31 May 2018.

PROGRAM

 

 

Equestrian Art Presentations

Training: regular sessions (schedule available at www.arteequestre.pt/bilheteira)

Gala: 15 December

The Henrique Calado Riding Ring regularly hosts training sessions and gala performances by the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and that are open to the public.

- Target audience: all age groups over six

- Price: Galas - €25 // Training – €8 // Presentations – €15

- Further information available at: www.arteequestre.pt / info@parquesdesintra.pt / +351 21 923 73 00

Video mapping “Christmas Workshop”

From 14 to 23 December at 6pm, 6.30 pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm in the National Palace of Queluz Courtyard

Projected onto the outer facades of the National Palace of Queluz, the video mapping “Christmas Workshop” tells the story of Nicholas, an artisan who dedicates himself to gathering and restoring forgotten or lost toys. Over the course of the projection, the audience witnesses the transformation of this ordinary person into the legendary character of Father Christmas.

- Target: All age groups

- Duration: 15 minutes

- Tickets: Free entrance                                          

Christmas tree inauguration concert at the National Palace of Sintra

Friday, 1 December, 6pm, National Palace of Sintra entrance staircase

Concert, free-to-enter, by the Lisbon Youth Choir under the conducting of Nuno Margarido Lopes, to commemorate the inauguration of the National Palace of Sintra Christmas tree.

The tree, standing 15 metres high, is on display in the monument’s courtyard throughout the month of December and decorated in around 200 red and white 3D baubles. There is also an interior tunnel to allow visitors to take photographs from its interior.

Queen D. Amélia Square is also hosting a Christmas market from 1 to 23 December, open from 10am to 6pm.

- Target: All age groups

- Duration: 1h

- Tickets: Free entrance subject to the availability of places (200 seat venue)

 

“Monserrate Revisited – The Cook Collection in Portugal” Exhibition

From 30 November to 31 May 2018, Palace of Monserrate

Works from the collection of the Cook family, who lived in the Palace of Monserrate in the 19th century, finally make their return to this site to form a temporary exhibition that features the architectural and landscape projects developed for the Sintra property and as well as the art collection on display there.

This represents the culmination of the first phase in an extensive research project into the work of art held in public and private collections, highlighting the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Francis Cook (1817-1901).

- Ticket: included in the entrance ticket to the Park of Monserrate.

There’s Donkeys Here!

Every Saturday in December, 10am, midday and 3pm, Ferdinand II Hunting Grounds (next to the Convent of Capuchos)

Patient, affable and very calm, donkeys are great companions for children and adults on this adventure, which tells the path of history over the course of centuries, explaining the gentleness of these animals that neither kick nor bite (whenever treated with respect), are not nervous (when frightened, they stop still rather than fleeing), are strong and smart. There then follows a walk through the forest: the children get to ride while the parents lead with the reins.

- Target audience: recommended for families with children aged between 3 and 12

- Duration: 90mins

- Price: €10/participant

- Pre-booking recommended: info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: the donkey walks are subject to cancellation in case of adverse meteorological conditions. Activity available every day of the week following prior reservation.

- Target audience: recommended for families with children aged between 3 and 12

- Duration: 90mins

- Price: €10/participant

- Pre-booking recommended (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: the donkey walks are subject to cancellation in case of adverse meteorological conditions. Activity available every day of the week following prior reservation

Voyage to the 18th Century Court

Saturday, 9 December, 3pm, National Palace of Queluz

Step after step, participants are invited to discover all the hidden charms of the National Palace of Queluz, listen to its stories and meet people from another era. There is the chance to hear singing, playing and dancing to the music of the 18th century. Learn about how they staged the grand parties and festivities, what dresses and accessories they wore in this space of such enormous beauty and refinement. Find out how the princes and princesses did not go to school but still had a lot of material to learn among the many other surprises awaiting your discovery.

- Target Audience: recommended for families with children aged over 5

- Duration: 2h

- Ticket price: €9/participant

- Prior registration necessary: info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00 (weekdays from 9.30am to 6.30pm)

- Note: The running of this activity depends upon a minimum number of participants.

Concert for babies: Christmas Morning

Sunday, 17 December, 10.30am and 11.30am, Palace of Monserrate

The magic and enchantment of Christmas in an interactive musical performance that stimulates the melodic and rhythmic senses of participants and fosters ludic-musical exchanges between parents and children. In the company of four musicians (two voices, flute and guitar), this embarks on a voyage through erudite classical music interspersed with original compositions by the group and correspondingly exploring a diverse range of sounds, tones and rhythms, always with the assistance of the audience within the scope of performing as the fifth member of the group.

Program:

  • “Morning” - Peer Gynt, by Edvar Grieg
  • “Silent Night”, by Joseph Mohr
  • “Deck the Halls”, a traditional 16th century Scottish song
  • “Jingle Bells”, by James Lord Pierpont
  • “Carol of the Bells”, by Mykola Leontovych
  • “Ding Dong”, by Beatriz Nunes
  • “Greensleeves to a Ground”, anonymous, a traditional British festive song
  • “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”, a traditional British carol

- Target: Recommended for families with children aged over three months

- Duration: 45 min

- Ticket: adult + 1 child up to 48 months: €20.00; Adults and children aged over 48 months: €15.00

- Requires booking and pre-payment: info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00 (working days from 9.30am to 6.30pm)

- Note: The running of this activity requires a minimum number of participants.

It’s Christmas on the Farm!

Sunday, 17 December 2017, 2.30pm, Farmyard of Monserrate

In the Farmyard of Monserrate, a great deal of attention goes into preparing the Christmas party! We’re going to invite you to search the Farmyard in order to discover the special ingredients for biscuits, make potpourri bags to give to family and friends and get the Christmas tree decorations ready and transforming this winter’s afternoon into an unforgettable time.

- Target: Recommended for families with children aged between 4 and 10

- Duration: 2h

- Cost: €8/participant

- Requires pre-booking: info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: The running of this activity requires a minimum number of participants.

From the Park to the Hunting Grounds: Nature in Sintra and in Mafra

Saturday, 16 December, 10am, Hunting Grounds of Monserrate, and 3.30pm, Hunting Grounds of Mafra

Joint visit program to Sintra and Mafra that conveys the diversity of the ecosystems of the Natural Park of Sintra – Cascais – a protected area that spans the Hunting Grounds of Monserrate – and the magnificent, ancient and indigenous forest that proves so characteristic of the National Hunting Grounds of Mafra. In the Hunting Grounds of Monserrate, visitors explore the natural history of the Sintra Hills, the particular microclimate that characterises this area and renders it so mystically special, concepts such as forest food, the ecological succession, invasive species, among others. Over the course of their tour, visitors shall certainly be surprised by the presence of wooden sculptures depicting the medium and large mammals that no longer exist in the Sintra Hills but that in a recent past did inhabit this landscape. In Mafra, along a less explored path, visitors get to view a mature forest and that, due to its protection by a surrounding wall, is able to guarantee excellent conditions to the more vulnerable species, with some at risk of extinction, that feed, breed and find shelter here.

- Target audience: all age groups

- Duration: 90mins in Monserrate, 2h in Mafra

- Price: adults €13/participant | Young persons and seniors: €11/participant | Family (2 adults + 2 children): €45

- Requires pre-booking (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: The running of this activity depends on a minimum number of participants. Visits may be subject to cancellation should adverse meteorological conditions prevail.

Feel the Heritage – Discover the Park of Monserrate through the Senses

Saturday, 23 December, 10am, Park of Monserrate

In amongst the romantic ruins and waterfalls, the visitor gets to discover the Gardens of Monserrate through feeling, hearing and smelling. This makes it possible to touch the water in the waterfalls, to perceive variations in temperature and to learn about various botanical species through feeling textures and sensing exotic odours. In the surroundings of the Palace of Monserrate, this is the opportunity to discover all of the materials making up its facades.

- Target audience: focused on blind and visually challenged visitors but also open to everybody interested.

- Duration: 90mins.

- Disabled persons price: €8.25 (entrance ticket €3.25 + guided tour supplement €5)
- Regular price: €11.5 (entrance ticket €6.5 + guided tour supplement €5)

- Requires pre-booking (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: this activity counts upon the support of ACAPO – the Association of the Blind Amblyopia Sufferers of Portugal. We would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate to the meteorological conditions prevailing. The visit may be subject to cancellation should adverse meteorological conditions prevail or adapted to the interiors of the Palace of Monserrate.

The Gardens of Monserrate without Barriers

Saturday, 23 December, 10.30am, Park of Monserrate

Visit targeting persons with mobility restrictions who are here able to explore the gardens with autonomy through recourse to equipment that overcomes the barrier posed by the slopes and facilitates the mobility of manual wheelchairs. This correspondingly enables exploration of the Fern Valley, the Mexican Garden, the Rose Garden, the Lawns and Lakes interspersed throughout the Park of Monserrate.

- Target audience: focusing upon visitors with mobility restrictions

- Duration: 90mins.

- Disabled persons price: €8.25 (entrance ticket €3.25 + guided tour supplement €5)
- Regular price: €11.5 (entrance ticket €6.5 + guided tour supplement €5)

- Requires pre-booking (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: visitors may either bring their own wheelchairs or make use of a wheelchair provided by Parques de Sintra (without any added cost). Open to those accompanying. The traction equipment adapts to the overwhelming majority of wheelchair makes. The visit may be subject to cancellation should adverse meteorological conditions prevail.

 

 

Sign Language Heritage

Saturday, 23 December, 2.30pm, Park of Monserrate

Visit to the gardens and Palace of Monserrate with a Portuguese sign language accompanied tour. The visit to the gardens, one of the most beautiful landscape creations of Romanticism in Portugal, which hosts over 3,000 species of plants from the four corners of the world and extending through the Fern Valley, the Mexican Garden, the Rose Garden and the Lawns before ending in the Palace of Monserrate.

- Target audience: focusing upon deaf visitors but open to everybody interested

- Duration: 90mins.

- Disabled persons price: €8.25 (entrance ticket €3.25 + guided tour supplement €5)
- Regular price: €11.5 (entrance ticket €6.5 + guided tour supplement €5)

- Requires pre-booking (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- Note: this activity counts upon the support and participation of APS – the Portuguese Deaf Association. We would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate to the weather prevailing. The visit may be subject to cancellation should adverse meteorological conditions prevail or adapted to the interiors of the Palace of Monserrate.

Horse and pony trekking

Daily, Park of Pena

Horse riding provides visitors with a different means of exploring the routes and paths through the Park of Pena. The duration of the ride may vary from anything between 30 and 90 minutes or extend to between three and six hours. The longer trek programs correspondingly provide the opportunity to visit the other sites under the management of Parques de Sintra and even to scheduling lunch in a particular place. All of these horseback excursions are accompanied by the horse handlers who also serve to guide visitors along the routes.

Reaching a younger audience, Parques de Sintra also runs an activity that enables children to gain their first riding experience on a pony especially trained for this age group and also always accompanied by one of the animal’s handlers.

- Horse trekking: €15/30 min, €30/90 min, €50/3h, €100/6h (in addition to the Park of Pena entrance ticket)

- Pony rides: €7/15 minutes (in addition to the Park of Pena entrance ticket)

- Further information available and reservations at (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00     

- Note: The running of this activity remains dependent on the meteorological conditions prevailing

- Find out more at: www.parquesdesintra.pt/experiencias-e-lazer/passeios-a-cavalo/

 

 

Cart Rides

Park of Pena

Cart rides through the Park of Pena open up a voyage back through time along a route that spans the Fern Valley and the Chalet of the Countess of Edla, passing by the Farm of Pena and the Garden of the Countess of Edla. This ride may be taken on your own or accompanied by a specialist guide. This provides visitors with the opportunity to get up close to the history of this Park and its founders, the botanical and animal species that populate the length of this route as well as the historical buildings and garden nooks dotting the trajectory.

- These rides may be taken by up to six adults or four adults and four children

- During the low season, available only following pre-reservation

- Price: €75/1h (in addition to the entrance ticket to the Park of Pena where these programs take place)

- Note: The running of this activity remains dependent on the meteorological conditions prevailing - Find out more at: www.parquesdesintra.pt/experiencias-e-lazer/passeios-de-charrete/

- Further information available and reservations at (weekdays): info@parquesdesintra.pt; +351 21 923 73 00

- end –

 

About Parques de Sintra - Monte da Lua

 

Parques de Sintra - Monte da Lua, S.A. (PSML) is an entirely state owned company founded in 2000 in order to meet the challenges arising out of the UNESCO classification of the Sintra Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage site. The entity does not resort to the State Budget and the restoration and maintenance of the heritage in its care are ensured by the revenues resulting from sales at its ticket offices, stores, cafeterias and the rental of facilities for the hosting of events.

In 2016, the sites managed by PSML (the Park and National Palace of Pena, the National Palaces of Sintra and Queluz, the Chalet of the Countess of Edla, the Moorish Castle, the Palace and Gardens of Monserrate, the Convent of the Capuchos and the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art) welcomed 2.625.011 visits, around 83% of whom were international in origin. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, PSML was distinguished with the World Travel Award for the “World’s Leading Conservation Company”.

The PSML shareholders are the General Directorate of the Treasury and Finance (representing the Portuguese state), the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forestry Conservation, the Portuguese Tourism Board and Sintra Municipal Council.

www.parquesdesintra.pt / www.facebook.com/parquesdesintra

 

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