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Sintra is a Portuguese town in the district of Lisbon with around 27 000 inhabitants. It is the centre of its county which spans 316.06 km ² and has 409 482 inhabitants (2004), divided into 20 parishes. The municipality is limited to the north by the city of Mafra, to the east by Loures and Odivelas, to the southeast by Amadora, to the south by Oeiras and Cascais and to the west it ends only on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The town of Sintra has refused the status of “city” rather than “town”, despite being the centre of the second most populous county in Portugal.

The origin of Sintra is inseparable from the origin of Portugal. The mountains and the plains have been inhabited since ancient times, as we can see by the existence of dolmens and burial grounds and other relics such as prehistoric utensils on display in the Municipal Museum. The Roman occupation left tombstones and funeral urns, near the circular mausoleum in the Archaeological Museum of Odrinhas. The Romans called the Sintra hills "Mons Lunae" or Mountains of the Moon.

King Afonso Henriques conquered Sintra from the Moors in 1147, shortly after taking Lisbon. Sintra received a charter from the King on 9 January 1154 and became a town. However, it was mainly with the Romanticism of the nineteenth century that this region was rediscovered and renewed internationally.

Romantic artists such as William Beckford (1787) and Lord Byron (1811), describe its unparalleled beauty, and engravers such as William Burnett (1830-1837) recorded the most significant areas of the landscape. Sensitive men such as King Fernando II, helped to reforest the hills in an orderly manner, and trumped the construction of sumptuous revivalist buildings, which was the case of the Pena Palace.

"Sintra’s application for World Heritage / Cultural Landscape, followed on from the true feeling of Heritage already present in the town. We presented and defended this application as the recognition of the monumental and environmental cultural landscape whose identity has remained intact throughout the 800 years of Portuguese history.

This identity was also formulated from important foreign contributions. These foreigners saw in Sintra so many qualities that in most cases they ended up staying for long periods of time and sometimes permanently. As a consequence, Sintra gained a rich literary heritage.

"In "Sintra - World Heritage Site".



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