Convent of the Capuchos - History and Facts | History Hit

Convent of the Capuchos

Colares, Area Metropolitana de Lisboa, Portugal

The Convent of the Capuchos is an historical convent in the mountains of Sintra, known for its extremely humble living quarters.

Peta Stamper

12 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Convent of the Capuchos

The Convent of the Capuchos, also called the Convent of the Frairs Minor Capuchin, is a 16th century convent in Portugal characterised by its extremely humble infrastructures. Tucked within the forested mountains, today the convent is part of Sintra Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site.

Convent of the Capuchos history

Built in the 16th century in an isolated area of Sintra, the convent was home to a small number of Franciscan monks seeking seclusion and was comprised of extremely small living quarters and communal areas.

Nevertheless over time the convent became an important religious site, attracting patronage and visits from kings, nobles and travellers from many countries. By the early 19th century the convent was very well known and boasted a number of impressive artworks and frescoes.

However, life at the Convent was forever altered in 1834, with the dissolution of the religious orders in Portugal. Following this the site fell into a state of disuse and ruin and suffered greatly through the decades that followed. Despite restoration in the mid-20th century further damage was incurred as recently as 1998 when several artefacts and works of art were stolen.

Convent of the Capuchos today

Today, the overgrown and abandoned Convent of the Capuchos has once again been restored and is now part of the Sintra Parks organisation. Visitors can explore the grounds as well as the cramped living quarters, small chapels and prayer halls and guided or audio tours are also available.

Getting to the Convent of the Capuchos

Be aware that getting to the convent can be a little challenging. Just over 7 kilometres from Sintra-Vila and around 5 kilometres from Parque da Pena, the site is accessed along a remote and windy road which is walked, guided by signs giving step-by-step directions. Buses are rare and taxis are expensive, so it is best to rent a car and travel there yourself if possible.

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