Sintra [sēn′trə, sin′trə]city in W Portugal, northwest of Lisbon: pop. 225,000
* * *▪ Portugalformerly Cintra,three freguesias (parishes) and a concelho (township) of Lisboa distrito (“district”), Portugal. The towns and villages of the freguesias are picturesquely situated on the northern slope of the rugged Sintra Mountains about 15 miles (24 km) west-northwest of Lisbon. An area of former royal summer residence, Sintra possesses a beauty that was celebrated by Lord Byron in his poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and by other literary figures. On one of the mountain peaks is the Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena), a 19th-century building, partly an adaptation of a 16th-century monastery and partly an imitation of a medieval fortress, which was built for Queen Maria II by her young German consort. On another peak is a Moorish castle, Castle dos Mouros, and in a section called the old town is a 12th–15th-century royal palace, a mixture of Moorish and debased Gothic. These buildings and the nearby Monserrate Palace and its park, one of the best examples of landscape gardening in the Iberian Peninsula, attract large numbers of visitors. Tourism is important. Sintra is an agricultural trade centre. Granite, basalt, limestone, marble, and alabaster are quarried in the area.Sintra has given its name to two conventions, one in 1509 between Portugal and Castile settling differences concerning voyages of exploration, and one in 1808 by which the British and Portuguese allowed the defeated French army to return home during the Peninsular War. Pop. (1981) the freguesias of Santa Maria e São Miguel, São Martinho, and São Pedro de Penaferrim, 20,574; concelho, 225,398.
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