A gargoyle in Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal, 2009. The gargoyle holds in his hands the branches of a tree. Pena National Palace is located on a rocky ridge above Sintra. It is one of several palaces in the Sintra Hills which were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status as a 'cultural landscape' in 1995. The palace, which was built between 1842 and 1854, features a mixture of building styles that range from Moorish to pseudo-medieval. It occupies the site of a Hieronymite monastery that was abandoned after the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and Portugal's outlawing of religious orders in 1834. The palace is surrounded by Pena Park which offers walking paths, fountains, lakes, follies and belvederes.