The Initiation Well, in the Regaleira Palace, is located in the town of Sintra. Looking like an upside down tower, where at every 15 steps a plateau is reached, in a total of nine leading to the depths of the earth. The nine plateaus remind the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine heavens of Paradise, as designated by Dante in Divine Comedy. It is believed that it was used in rituals of initiation into masonry, giving it’s name.
The Château de Chenonceau is a manor house built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century. The original manor was torched in 1412 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a castle and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province. It is recognized as a World Heritage Site together with Hierapolis, an ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city built on top. Hierapolis-Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site in 1988.