Cintra, a town of Portugal, in the province of Estremadura, on the edge of a granitic sierra, which forms a continuation of the Estrella range, 15 m. W. N. W. of Lisbon; pop. about 3,000. It is a place of resort for the wealthy inhabitants of the capital, and for English and other foreigners, whose villas are scattered over the neighboring slopes, and stud the beautiful valley of Coll ares, west of the town. Fruits of every description abound in the surrounding country; the climate is mild and pleasant; and the scenery, though perhaps surpassed in other parts of Portugal, has been made famous by Byron's glowing description of it in "Childe Harold." The kings of Portngal have a palace here, which was formerly the residence of the Moorish monarchs. In it Alfonso V. was born and died, and Alfonso VI. was confined during the last eight years of his life. On the summit of one of the highest peaks of the sierra is the Penha convent, built by Emanuel the Great, and restored and beautified for use as a palace by the ex-king Ferdinand. There is another convent built for the reformed Franciscans by De Castro, and called the "convent of cork," from the circumstance of the cells being lined with that substance. It is partly hollowed out of the rock.
The residence of De Castro, and a chapel built by him after his return from India in 1542, are shown to visitors. In the vicinity of the town are quarries of beautiful marble. On Aug. 30, 1808, a convention was concluded here by the English commander, Sir Hugh Dalrymple, with Gen. Junot, after the defeat of the French at Yimieiro, under which they were not only permitted to leave Portugal, but were conveyed to France with their arms and property.
The Pinha Convent.