In 1892 Carvalho Monteiro (also known as Monteiro the Millionaire), born to Portuguese parents in Rio de Janeiro, inherited a huge family fortune, which he enlarged in Brazil by selling coffee and precious stones. He bought this beautiful estate in 1892 that belonged to the Barons of Regaleira.
He wished to build a bewildering place where he could gather symbols that would reflect his interests and ideologies. With the assistance of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, he designed the 4-hectare estate with its enigmatic buildings (a palace, a chapel, a park with lakes, fountains, aquarium, tunnels and sculptures).
It’s believed to hide symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Templar Knights and the Rosicrucians. The architecture of the estate evokes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Portuguese Manueline architectural styles. The construction of the current estate commenced in 1904 and most of it was concluded by 1910. Now-a-days it’s a foundation and is open to the public for visits and cultural events. Well worth a visit!