Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Queluz, Portugal

Just northwest of Lisbon is a beautiful area called Sintra. Trains run from the Jardim Zoologicolo metro station / Sete Rios train station every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15-20 minutes on weekends.

Halfway to Sintra is the small town of Queluz which features the National Palace. The palace is about a 1/2-mile walk from the train station and is modeled after Versailles.

Our first impression on our Sunday morning visit was a bit disappointing. From the front, this is no Versailles. It looked really run down, and by the complete lack of people around we wondered if it was still open. Fortunately, it was, and it was one of many museums in Portugal that is free of charge on Sundays.

The inside of the palace is nice - again not quite like Versailles, but it is similar. A walking tour leads through various halls that are mostly decorated with original artifacts from the 18th century.

The gardens are very well taken care of, although during our visit a good portion were blocked off. Allow about an hour for a visit.

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