Synopsys / Teaser
Why are some things like they are here in Sintra? Their disposition, their asymmetry? How have they emerged like this? And why? And what explanations most people come with? Easy things and quick conclusions are bad advisers, and only looking through the lens of the past, with the proper and own contexts of the medieval portuguese society, can we get closer to a real life from the past.
And what was already abandoned then, causing fear to visit? If not many centuries ago, you would have come in a carriage from Lisbon through a very hard, harsh and narrow road, desert like, with mountains and windmills in the distance, and your coachman would stop along midway, after almost two hours of driving. What for? You will know. A tradition that arrived the 1970's and 1980's in Portugal, but in a context no one can image what was in its origin. But as soon as you arrive to the Village, you would notice some important building abandoned, not being visited by no one. This is just a image of a past entrance in Sintra, but there are thousands when you look to the past with proper filters based in historical knowledge gained through infinite pages of memories, documentation, descriptions from the past.
The reason for certain names is going to be explained as well as why we know today Sintra Mountains as the Mountain of the Moon. Where it appeared for the first time and how was it turned into latin which caused wrong explanations of how Mountain of the Moon has arised. (You will also know why Louisianna is nowadays Louisianna; and the relation of that piece of information with Sintra? You will also get to know it.)
An avertissement from an anonymous (we now know today who he was) who found some anonymous memories in a carriage in the 1720's and decided to publish them. And an interesting relation of those memories with Sintra.
The First Benefit
This is a private tour; meaning that only you and the people that you bring with you will compose the group along Miguel Boim.
and the Highlights
chaining of many different and curious accounts of Sintra History
the silence of the mountain only breaken by the wind in the trees
unusual night landscapes in Sintra (mountain and village), which you can't see through any other way
availability to reply to all questions related with Sintra's History and Heritage during the tour / night walk
Elucidation of the Walk
Why this is not considered a "ghost tour"?
The reason why this walk can't be considered a ghost tour it's because there will always be a strong bond between the accounts and the historical reference's behind. What you are going to hear are not stories that came up among the people - but they can be mentioned for you to see the contrast in beliefs and the reason for certain wrong accounts - but reports, accounts, memories, with several centuries, that were noted down or published several centuries ago. Also, you will have the behaviour and habits from the past context, that can be only given by Miguel Boim..
Do we visit the interior of any monument?
The interior of monuments are not going to be visited. In some parts you'll walk in the night with a unique view to the Castle and also to Pena Palace. Since this walk it is mostly in the mountain, even in the road you will have the environment of the dark forest.
Can I ask anything I want on Sintra History, even if not related with the theme of the walk?
You are more than welcome to expose all the questions you have not only related with the theme of the night but with everything related with Sintra's History and Heritage.
Wouldn't we know those accounts in any other form?
To a better understanding in this travel to the past, you will be furnished with pieces of information - curious pieces of information - which can be only known by who studies the local and the reign's history perpetually, and which permit your eyes to have the right filters - which are very different from the ones our imagination supplies us with, and are usually far from the reality lived in the past.
Real People From the Past Vs the formal bombardment of dates and facts
More than to talk about dates and times from the portuguese past that people are not familiarized with due to being from different cultures, life observed from a mundane perspective can give you a better insight on the impact monuments and changes that were built and observed appeared in Sintra. Life was different in many aspects, but not that much in others. Religious orders were a freezer that kept some mundane habits and stories from history that we can see today. They are felt as very enthusiastic, and more over when they have their background here in Sintra. Some individuals from religious orders are going to be mentioned, as well as their own liturgy (that may sound strange for the common people today) and some habits and religious/mystical experiences.
People who have lived in Sintra in the past are going to be mentioned, due to their role in strange circumstances. Those circumstances reveal how the portuguese - and the people from Sintra - were in the past and how they were seen by the foreigners in distant centuries. The telling of those circumstances and accounts will give you a rare insight into how the village and mountains were, as well as some of the differences from then and now, of monuments you see today.
Sintra Castle in a night with a full moon over it.
Picture taken by Miguel Boim from the actual route of this theme.
The Shadows and the Law
Another important layer of knowledge to better understand the past in certain moments it is the one related with the law and with social power. Who would have the power here in Sintra, if not the state? But the state through who and how? People that talk only about the Pelourinho (pillory) in the portuguese living from the past, almost always end up by not knowing its most common functions and roles. And also, what we see today can be a modern reconstruction. Who was the law here in the 16th century? And in the 17th? And in the 18th? And by whom were they helped? They would report only to the state, or also to the Holy Inquisition? In all the mentioned centuries there were different formal names and functions, but how they affected the living in the Village, and were could you or couldn't you go?
The desired atmosphere for you to enjoy your travel to the past
Several of the purposes of these visits are related with the ambient that people can enjoy if in the mountains and in the Historical Center in silence. With the sound of the wind in the trees and the running streams in the fresher seasons, you will get to know how Sintra (Historical Center and Mountains) truly is, and to get far from the touristic crowds. All the care is taken to avoid other nightly events from the council and/or other organizations (with its proper margin of error, since some are private and others with almost no time of advertisement).
The silence and care taken and enjoyed by you it is also a form of preservation of the Mountains Wild Life.
So that the silence can be enjoyed, it is advisable that this walk start at night, either in the Summer or in the Winter.
It is a possibility that you may encounter a foggy night, or the fog in the middle of the tour, or simply the fog roaming around some monuments (which it is one of the best sceneries and memories one can take from Sintra).
On the Day of the Walk
What will happen?
This tour is a walking one. You'll have a route of around six kilometres (the effort to make it is very similar to be a whole afternoon walking around Sintra's historical center), mainly in plain terrain, in which you will be able to see nocturnal landscapes. There will be some stopping points where Miguel Boim will tell you stories, facts, curiosities from the past and related with the theme [[["write down the theme's name"]]]. The total time will be around 3h15 and 4h15.
The route will have its meeting point with Miguel Boim in the historical center, and then you will meet the dark of the mountains, with its magnificent night landscapes (with or without fog). You'll be informed how warm the clothes you'll need must be, since from night to night weather can change significantly.
You will not visit any of the monuments inside, but you'll see from the distance the Castle, Pena Palace, the Royal Palace of Sintra, and other less known or less touristic monuments, but very important for Sintra's history, accounts, and cultural legacy. Also, you will be put at will to question what you want on Sintra's history, related with the theme or not.
Everything you will hear in the night is a product of Miguel Boim everyday work as a historical researcher exclusively dedicated to Sintra's past (in the portuguese and european context). You will have the company of someone that breathes the same air that the people he will tell you about.
Pena Palace in a night which had the full moon looking at the theme's route.
Picture taken by Miguel Boim from the actual route of Sintra: Apparitions and Stories from the Mountains.
legal notice: rnaat 1808/2017
Some Images of What You May Encounter Physically and through Words
The Praça do Comércio / Terreiro do Paço in Lisbon, in the 1660's.
How what we see in the painting relates with this walk? Through all the Terreiro do Paço but also through one of the carriages.
Painting by the dutch painter Dirk Stoop.
The old Mosteiro da Pena (where in the actual days sits the Pena Palace).
You will also hear in this theme some accounts related with the old Mosteiro da Pena (Pena Monastery).
Painted engraving published in Germany in the begining of the 1800's..
The fog in the mountains hiding Pena Palace.
Sometimes we have a lot of fog in the mountains, unveiling the landscape and the monuments from time to time..
Picture of some parts where the route of the present theme passes.
Photographer credits: Miguel Boim.
The King of the portuguese, Afonso VI
In this watercolor the King is at Sintra but not in just a bedroom; he is in a cell, which was his bedroom for 9 long years.
But, as you may figure, there's a lot more to tell.
A foggy night letting the moon in her 1st quarter show herself above Sintra's Castle.
In this theme and in the perspective of this picture you will pass behind the Castle.
Photographer credits: Miguel Boim.
The portuguese Royal Opera House, after the Great Earthquake of 1755.
It had just been inaugurated in the 31st of March of that same year of 1755.
And yes, what we see here is also related with the theme you are now consulting.
The church of São Nicolau, after the Great Earthquake of 1755.
Being rebuilt, it was where Miguel Boim started to attend Mass when he was a child, since he grew up few meters from it..
And yes, what you see it is also related with this present theme.
This you are seeing in the daylight.
But maybe you'll see it in the same, in the mountain, but from distance.
Photographer credits: Miguel Boim.
Prices / Booking
the author and researcher
lectures and speeches on Sintra's history to more than 12K people - as to 2018 data
in this video of the portuguese channel dedicated to culture, Miguel Boim
gives body to Süskind's walker, Mr. Sommer
Apparitions and Stories from the Mountains
You can book this thematic night walk through this form, by picking the date and the number of participants:
Do you have questions or prefer to send an email first? Just use this button:
the presentation of the book Sintra Lendária, in the Grémio Literário, by Basílio Horta, Mayor of Sintra Municipality
Miguel Boim being received by the students of a school in the Municipality of Sintra
second edition of Miguel Boim and Sintra's iconic book Sinta Lendária, with a deep and heartful insight on the side of History which resembles the same enchantment of legends and tales
On Trust and Safety
Code of Conduct
No smoking or making noise.
It is forbidden to take species of fauna, flora, or geological ones.
Please stay close to the person who is guiding the group, avoiding to be absent without previous communication, in any circumstance.
The personal data is necessary for insurance purposes as well as to fully accomplish with the legislation of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
It is necessary to provide data from third parties (close relatives or others, from the country of origin of the participants).
Minimum age: from 12/14 years of age, according to what specified in each theme.
By booking this activity you assume that your health conditions are perfect for walking (having in mind the ups and downs of the route) between 200 and 470 meters above sea level for around 4 hours.
It is necessary to specify medication a participant is taking and which can be relevant for his health condition when not taken.
This activity fully accomplishes with the required by law and fulfills the payment of the taxes implied by law.
It is necessary that the participants proceed accordingly to what stated by the guide in the briefing as well as during the activity, as well as to what may be requested by any element of portuguese authority, of those which patrol the mountains at night: the National Guard Republican (G.N.R.), security of Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua (in SUV or on foot), Portuguese Army (in SUV or on foot), Civil Protection (in SUV or on foot), ICNF - Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e Florestas (in SUV or on foot). It is important to keep these elements in mind to know to who should you provide your idenfication if needed.
You may ask for advice on safety in general as well as related to rented vehicles (special attention in this regard) and possible pickpockets (during the day and in crowded places).
For Your Comfort
Do not hesitate to ask questions before the tour and as well as during the tour; it is very important that you can notice the pretended transparency.
Proper footwear and clothing (you'll be advised on the best of both, according to the time of year and near the date weather conditions).
Start time can be exact as well as end time; but please notice that the end time can be inaccurate - if not otherwise strictly required.
You can inquire where the best place to have your meals.
Information on how to avoid tourist crowds during the day in Sintra can be requested.
If desired, pick up and deliver in Lisbon can be required beforehand by email, having extra costs.
Cancellations and Refunds
Cancellations with partial refund of the money (70% of the total amount) are possible if made until 72 hours before the begining of the activity.
The partial refund of the money can take up to 7 days after the date of the activity.
In case of rain the activity will be maintained; in case of warning (Aviso) or alert (Alerta) by the authorities (Civil Protection, ICNF) the activity will be canceled with the consequent refund of the amount paid (100%).
The Village and the Mountains in the begining of
one foggy night, by Miguel Boim
legal notice: rnaat 1808/2017