FOUNTAINS OF SINTRA
For centuries Sintra was a focal point for religious and esoteric cults. For the ancients, the Sintra mountain was not only associated with the moon and lunar deities, but the water gushing out of the ground seemingly magically also had religious connotations. Moist Atlantic winds blow damp air onto the exposed rock faces of Sintra's mountain and condense into clouds giving Sintra its quirky microclimate. One such cloud, affectionately known as the queen's fart, often hovers over the town even on clear days. The moist air ensures Sintra remains green and lush, a contrast to the more arid landscapes surrounding it. The buildings within the forest, if left unattended, soon morph into the landscape as their walls become covered by moss and lichen. This life-giving resource permeates through the mountain's ancient porous strata emerging as springs of refreshing mineral-rich water.
This abundance of water ensures each resident has enough to wash, drink and cultivate harvest crops, refresh livestock and a source for public baths. This gift from the mountain has been celebrated and honoured for millennia. More recently in the gardens of Pena - Valley of Lakes and at Quinta da Regaleira. Kings and Queens have planted many exotic trees and plants here which would be unable to grow elsewhere in Portugal. Sintra boasts over 20 public fountains of various sizes, ages and states of preservation. Before modern plumbing, these were the source of drinking water for the inhabitants of Sintra, and many people still today use these fountains for such a purpose. However, concerns over modern farming methods and pesticides have caused the local town council to err on the side of caution and hang plaques advising visitors not to drink the water.