This is a fabulous assemblage of styles and constructions ( gardens, wells, towers, statues, mysterious grottoes, etc.), which Manini succeeded in imbuing with exceptional characteristics. Albeit having a semblance of a scene from opera, the Quinta da Regaleira has alchemical and sacred connotations.
The origins of this Quinta (palace and estate) which is currently known as the Quinta da Regaleira date back to 1697 when José Leite purchased a huge tract of land at one end of the Old Quarter of Sintra.
The property was bought at a public auction in 1715 by Francisco Alberto Guimarães de Castro who diverted water from the mountain to supply a fountain on the property. In the possession of João António Lopes Fernandes in 1800 it appears some thirty years later in the possession of Manuel Bernardo from whence it derived its current name, having formerly been known as the Quinta da Torre or the Quinta do Castro. It was then purchased by the daughter of Allen in 1840 (a wealthy trader from Oporto) who was later given the title of the Baroness of Regaleira.
At the beginning of this century, however, the Quinta da Regaleira was purchased by the capitalist António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro, a man of enormous culture with a degree in Law from the University of Coimbra who had amassed a fortune in Brazil. Carvalho Monteiro, who was profoundly inspired by the glorious national epic poem, whose expression at the time was found in the "revivalist" taste of neo manueline architecture, took inspiration for the construction of the manor house and its respective chapel both from the structural and decorative eclecticism of the Pena Palace and the neo-manueline style of the Hotel Palácio do Buçaco, designed by Luigi Manini. It was Carvalho Monteiro who invited Manini to design and build the house at Regaleira. The project was completed in 1910.