Câmara Municipal de Sintra
Visitors flock to the UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site town of Sintra to admire the stunning collection of palaces and villas built as country retreats for the wealthy, amongst the wooded hills and beautiful vistas of the Serra de Sintra. Just below the Palacio Nacional de Sintra stands a lavish Neo-Gothic building with elaborately decorated spires. Is this yet another castle, or maybe a church? No, it’s simply the Câmara Municipal de Sintra - the local town hall.
Looking more like a fairytale castle than a municipal building, it was completed in 1909 and is a fine example of the Romantic and Manueline schools of architecture that have become synonymous with Sintra.
The main feature of the building is its towering spire, decorated in blue and white glazed tiles depicting the Portuguese coat of arms, topped with an armillary sphere and surrounded by four smaller spires. The inside of the building is every bit as extravagant as the outside, being decorated in a mix of Renaissance and Neo-Manueline styles.
One has to envy the municipal workers their beautiful place of work. Unfortunately the building is not generally open to the public.
There are a number of souvenir shops and cafes in the area around the building where one can while away some time admiring the romantic views.