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“Ancient find in the mountainside of Sintra” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Capuchos Convent

Capuchos Convent
Sao Pedro de Penaferrim | Parques de Sintra, Serra de Sintra, Sintra 2710-405, Portugal
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Ranked #10 of 25 Attractions in Sintra
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: The "Capuchos Convent" or "Cork Convent" was established in 1560 by Dom Alvaro de Castro, Counsellor of State to King Sebastiao, with the name Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra de Sintra. It is noteworthy for the extreme poverty of its construction, which represents the ideal of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, and for the extensive use of cork in the protection and decoration of its small spaces.
St. Petersburg, Florida
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20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Ancient find in the mountainside of Sintra”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

The quiet beauty of the ruins of this humble and solitary convent speak volumes for the simplicity that embodies the lives of the Franciscan friars who lived there during the 15th century. I suggest visiting this spot with a commitment to peace and quiet. Take time to reflect.

Visited June 2013
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“A Quiet Corner: Not for Everybody”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

If you are looking for a shrieking "wow gee-whiz!" experience, do not waste your holiday time at the Capuchos Convent. This is a quiet, comtemplative place for people who want to slow down and soak up centuries of simple spirituality.

This is not one of those glorious plaster-angels-everywhere monasteries. It is a tiny former community dug into a hillside, accessible via road and trails from Sintra proper. (ask the tourist office for a map.) It is totally worth the trip.

Only a few tough men lived here at any particular time, living in a series of cells built into a rocky hillside. They insulated the chilly rock walls with sheets of cork, engineered a clever running-water system, slept in tiny individual slots, cooked, washed, worshiped and ate together in semi-darkness, all for the sake of their faith. It is a lifestyle almost lost to modern people, and one worth some long hours of contemplation in itself.

You don´t have to be a mystic to enjoy the paths, fountains, and gardens. And if you climb up to the peak above the hermitages, there´s a superb view right out to the ocean.

There is no wheelchair access. People with strollers, walking sticks, poor eyesight or other physical challenges might find it frustrating.

Visited June 2013
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Senior Contributor
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23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“introspective”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

It should be seen with the correct pespective: introspection, meditation, praying? I hated to see the graffitis and stupid kids banging the cork windows, and the parents smoking and talking loud... we are talking about the remnants of an old monastery not dysneyworld!
The place itself is magic...but to really feel it I'll have to go back perhaps in Winter and very early in the morning.

Visited May 2013
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Australia
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Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Worth the visit, but car required!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

Everyone seems to rave on about Sintra, but having seen the old towns of Porto, Coimbra, Leira, etc., we weren't really sure whether the hype was justified. Sure, the town is cute, and the Pena Palace is incredible in design and location, but be sure to make the drive to Capuchos Convent for an interesting insight into the life of the former Franciscan friars.
Set high in the woods above Sintra, the sight is filled with photo opportunities of the small yet labarynthine convent ruins, and the surrounding moss-covered terrain and woods.

Visited May 2013
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Oeiras, Portugal
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“Amazing recuperation of an ancient monastery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Although being a little and perhaps "ugly" attraction of Sintra, where the beautifully gardens and majestic palaces are the most imponent attractions, Convento dos Capuchos is an interesting attraction for the history that this monastery of a poor religious order tell us. This monastery was abandoned for a long time and it's good to see all the works of recuperation that have been done!

Visited April 2013
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