Sintra … palaces and adventures in Wonderland

Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Magpie Room, ceiling section detail, Por Bem, For Good

Each magpie carries the words of King João I’s motto “por bem” (for the good). Legend has it that the queen caught João kissing one of her ladies-in-waiting at the palace. He reassured her that it was all innocent and ‘for the good’, then publicly humiliated his queen by commissioning one magpie for each lady-in-waiting

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