Volume 1: Portugal's Sintra with Pascal Ansell - Context Travel

Volume 1: Portugal's Sintra with Pascal Ansell


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Join art writer Pascal Ansell for a two-part Sintra series, as we weave our way down the spiraling cobbled streets that paved their way into Portugal's collective imagination. Sintra's dreamworld of palaces and its Moorish Castle is one many are familiar with, and down below the town is curiously lacking any straight or linear streets. Compared to Versailles, its palaces are a celebration of glorious disorder. A key philosophy defines the town: 19th Century Romanticism. Getting underneath this movement will be key to making sense of a site that displays willful confusion, an attack on reason and rationality that could be seen as Portugal's most exaggerated, yet most Portuguese town.

Key highlights to our seminar are the holy triad of the Pena, Regaleira, and National palaces. But we will dive into some little-known corners that speak to the late 19th century attitudes on nature, and how these quieter areas let flourish, after the human effort carved out the possibility.

Lord Byron sighed, "Sintra, Glorious Eden", and together we will deepen our appreciation of a town that is Portugal in its idiosyncratic extreme.

Led by local Lisbon expert Pascal Ansell, this interactive discussion will discuss Sintra's history, architecture, and influences from abroad. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of the significance of this beautiful Moorish castle.

This conversation is the first in a two-part series. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order. 
Volume 1: Portugal's Sintra with Pascal Ansell
Volume 2: Portugal's Sintra with Pascal Ansell

Born in Oxford, UK, to an Anglo-Belgian family, Pascal graduated with a first-class B.A. honors in English & Music after studying in Leeds and Berlin. Based in Lisbon, he is interested in the history of the commonplace elements within everyday life. He has published about and taught a wide range of cultural histories, from coffee to wine consumption in Europe, to medieval and early modern Portuguese history, as well as the 'permanent street art' of Portugal's tiles and cobblestones. Pascal also lectures on art theory and philosophy, developing concepts surrounding 'sub-realism' and aesthetically-engaged mysticisms. He has performed across Europe and released music under various labels in the UK, Poland, and Portugal.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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