Park of Pena hosts Exhibition of Camellias and presents new unseen collection
15 Feb 2023
On 25 and 26 February, Parques de Sintra is celebrating the beauty of camellias, a true symbol of the Sintra winter which have inspired dances and parties over many years. At a time of year when flowering camellia trees adorn the gardens and farms of Sintra, the Exhibition of Camellias at the Park of Pena, which takes place in the Camellia Garden Greenhouse, offers the general public the chance to appreciate the richness and diversity of this botanical heritage. To this end, Parques de Sintra invites farms and gardens to exhibit the most beautiful camellias from their collections.
Entry to the event is free, subject to the purchase of a ticket to Park of Pena, where, in addition to the Camellia Exhibition, visitors can discover not only the remarkable collection started by King Ferdinand II in the 19th century, but also a new collection that is being inaugurated this year and which includes 10 hybrids of Camellia azalea, of Chinese origin.
On 25 February, the exhibition opens at 11:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm. The opening session and award ceremony for the best camellia specimens in the competition is scheduled for 3:00 pm. This will be followed by a "Tea in the Park" and a guided tour of the camellia collection at Park of Pena, which was honoured in 2014 by the International Camellia Society as a Camellia Garden of Excellence. These activities are open to all and do not require prior registration.
On 26 February, it will be possible to visit the exhibition between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.
The camellias collection of the Park of Pena
Originally from China and Japan, camellias were introduced to the Park of Pena in the 1840s by King Ferdinand II, who employed the most prestigious European nurserymen for the task. Planted by the French gardener Bonnard, the Camellia Garden includes, in addition to the international cultivars in vogue in the 19th century, many Portuguese cultivars, including the collection of 18 cultivars of Camellia japonica, developed by the nurseryman Marques Loureiro from Porto in honour of the house of Braganza. This collection was honoured in 1865 with a first-class medal at the International Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in Porto.
Aware of the importance of the extensive collection of camellias in the Park of Pena, Parques de Sintra has been carrying out their study, classification and recovery since 2009. The inventory has identified and catalogued 3,858 specimens concentrated mainly in four locations: the Camellia Garden, the Garden of Queen Amelia, the Garden of the Countess of Edla, and Tea Hill.