Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)
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CAPUCHOS CONVENT (CONVENTO DOS CAPUCHOS)

A visit to the Capuchos Convent, often referred to as the Cork Convent, is a true step back in time and an experience of an impoverished lifestyle at one with nature. Once occupied by Fransiscan monks it was founded in 1560 by Dom Álvaro, a State Councillor to King Sebastião, and was original called the Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra de Sintra. The site embodies the ideals of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, the search for spiritual harmony by detaching oneself from the world and renouncing the pleasures associated with everyday life. It's austere construction was deliberately made as simple as possible, utilising the lay of the land and natural objects with extensive use of cork as protection and decoration. The landscape surrounding the building was meticulously maintained by the resident monks resulting in the preservation of Sintra's original flora whereas else where in the forest foreign exotic plants were introduced to adorn gardens.

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CAPUCHOS CONVENT INTERIOR

Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)

The small cells, corridors and sparse living space gives the visitor an insight into the lives led by the brotherhood and instills a profound impression. The interior resembles a rabbit warren and the lack of space is claustrophobic. Some of the cells were so small that monks had to carve foot holes in the walls so they can lay down and judging buy the small size of the doorways they must have been small guys at that. The vast amount of cork which was used to insulate the walls must also have been useful as protected padding. The site is small and there was only room to accommodate eight monks, the most famous of whom was Friar Honório who lived here 15 of his years in isolation and penance yet lived to the grand old age of a hundred.

Along with the monks cells the site also contains rooms for visitors, a small courtyard, a library, a dinning area adjoining the kitchen, an infirmary, two chapels and a latrine. When King Filipe I of Portugal (Filipe II of Spain) visited the convent in 1581 he famously remarked "In all of my kingdoms, there are two things I have that greatly please me, El Escorial because it is so rich and the Convent of Santa Cruz because it is so poor".

CAPUCHOS CONVENT EXTERIOR

The site was designed to blend into it's surroundings and since it's abandonment nature has taken over. The overgrown foliage adding to the mystical beauty of the place. There were no attempts to create any man-made beautification but instead pay homage to natures wonderment. In places the convent's stark walls seem indistinguishable from the forests rock formations and boulders. The site is isolated, a 4.5 mile (7 km) trek along a wooded road, which only adds to the peacefulness of this site. A dramatic contrast to the maddening crowds which descend on Sintra's centre during high season. For special effect the site is notoriously often bathed in fog. The landscape surrounding the building was meticulously maintained by the resident monks resulting in the preservation of Sintra's original flora whereas else where in the forest foreign exotic plants were introduced to adorn gardens. The 19th century romantic poets were enchanted by it's beauty inspiring the likes of Lord Byron in his his poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. After the dissolution of the monasteries in Portugal in 1834 the convent was abandoned and was subsequently bought in 1873 by Francis Cook, the first Viscount of Monserrate, and later in 1949 the land was nationalised. The Capuchos Convent forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra and was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage in 1995.

Daily: 10h00 - 20h00, (last admission at 19h00)
Adult: €7.00, Concessionary: €5.50. Family €22.00, Infant 0-3 FREE. Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 15% discount   

ONLINE TICKET | With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the Capuchos Convent, at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…

Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)
“City
Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)

TRAVELLING TO THE CAPUCHOS CONVENT

There are hiking trails signposted between the historic centre and the Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos).

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais. Once you have arrived in the town's historic centre it's best to leave the car and walk to take a taxi to the Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos).

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Contact Details
São Pedro de Penaferrim, Serra de Sintra, Sintra 2710-405, Portugal. | 38° 46' 58.5" N | 09° 26' 08.9" W
+351 219 237 300 | info@parquesdeSintra.pt |  Website

 Sintra Guided Visit: Life and Death at the Capuchos Convent

Sintra Guided Visit: Life and Death at the Capuchos Convent

Early in the afternoon you'll be picked up at Sintra's train station and you'll be taken by car to the Capuchos Convent, in the Sintra Mountains. On this guided visit you'll be removed from the hustle and bustle of modern times and transported back - through the words of an historian - across centuries of the area's History. The habits, mystical experiences, and fears that surrounded the Convent will be explained to you during this tour. The visit will last for 3 and a half hours and will include the interior of the Convent.

The information you will hear is from the historian's own work as an independent researcher on religious chronicles dating from several centuries back. At the end of the visit you'll be returned back to Sintra's train station.

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Sintra: RZR Buggy Tour

Sintra: Self-Drive Sightseeing Tour for 2 People

Discover the wonders of Sintra at your own pace on this self-drive adventure. Explore this UNESCO listed location in a Renault Twizy and visit the sights that interest you most. Highlights include Sintra National Palace, Monserrate Palace, and more.
After picking up your Twizy from the meeting point, set off on your self-drive adventure through the wild hills and winding streets of Sintra. Highlights of Sintra include the historic town center, Sintra National Palace, Regaleira Estate, Seteais Palace, the Park and Palace of Monserrate, and more. You can also drive to the other side of the mountain for a visit to Moorish Castle and Pena Palace.


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From Lisbon: Sintra, Pena Palaces, and Capuchos Convent Tour

From Lisbon: Sintra, Pena Palaces, and Capuchos Convent Tour

On this tour, you'll get to know the Pena National Palace and its profusion of exotic and eclectic styles, united in a perfect masterpiece of architectural Romanticism. Prepare to be awestruck by guided visits inside Sintra National Palace and Convento dos Capuchos. Enjoy a delicious meal in a traditional Portuguese restaurant with regional delicacies. After lunch, it's time to see the world-famous Pena Palace. It's practically a visual synonym for Sintra, with its vibrant colours and fusion of styles. The fact it is nested on top of the hill also enhances its mystical aura, especially when it's surrounded by fog, which is not uncommon. Time to return to Lisbon, as we drive along the Marginal Avenue and see the beautiful coastline connecting the capital to Cascais.


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