Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
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 (Palacio 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.