Pena Palace 01
Standing on one of the peaks of the Serra de Sintra, the heart of a park of 200 hectares of the town of Sintra in Portugal , Pena Palace is characterized by its architectural eclecticism and bright colors , yellow and red. This magnificent monument is the first romantic palace in Europe , whose construction began for example 30 years before the commencement of work of the castle which is often cited as the first expression of romanticism in architecture: Neuschwanstein in Bavaria.
This is due to Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg - Gotha - regent - original German and Portuguese adoption following its alliance with the Queen Maria II.
In 1839, after buying the ruins of a monastery Jeronymite the fifteenth century, it even says sovereign building his summer palace of Baron Ludwig von Eschwege . It mixes up the architectural styles - Moorish , Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline - to deliver a building exuberant and colorful , but nevertheless maintains some parts of the old monastery .
The construction , which began in mid-nineteenth century , was not completed until 1885 , the year of the king's death .
After the proclamation of the Republic in 1910 , the building became the property of the state, is kept as is and open to the public.
One enters the Palace through a Moorish gate leading to a courtyard ; in it , one can not miss the arc of newt, decorated with neo- Manueline details.
Inside the palace is divided into different rooms, one of a kind . Arab room , as its name suggests, and has frescoes and other ornaments inspired by the Orient. Ballroom mixture , meanwhile , elements of oriental decoration Prussian windows .
The cloister and the chapel show , for their part, the Manueline style .
The different balconies offer panoramic views of the Atlantic coast and the Tagus River.
(from : http://fr.wikipedia.org/)
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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
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Text by Steve Smith.