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The Pena National Palace constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th century Romanticism in Portugal. This National Monument was built by the initiative of D. Fernando of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, who married Queen Mary II, in 1836. Endowed with a complete education, the future King Fernando II quickly fell in love with Sintra and, when going up the Mountain range for the first time, sighted the ruins of an old Hyeronimite convent originally built by Diogo Boitac in the reign of King John II and substantially transformed by King Manuel I that, when fulfilling a promise, ordered it to be reconstructed, into rock, in praise of Our Lady of Pena, donating it again to the Order of St. Jerome (a monks' order).

Sintra has become a major tourist attraction, with many day-trippers visiting from nearby Lisbon. Attractions include the fabulous Pena Palace (19th c.) and the Castelo dos Mouros (reconstructed 19th c.) with a breath-taking view of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, and the summer residence of the kings of Portugal Palácio Nacional de Sintra (largely 15th/16th c.), in the town itself. The Sintra Mountain Range, one of the largest parks in the Lisbon area, (Serra de Sintra) is also a major tourist attraction

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