Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)
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A visit to the Capuchos Convent is a step back in time and an experience of an impoverished lifestyle at one with nature. Discover all you need to know before your trip with MADABOUTSINTRA.COM, your indispensable travel guide. Get your Skip-the-Line e-ticket here and maximise your experience, save time and money.

Often referred to as the Cork Convent, Capuchos was founded in 1560 by Dom Álvaro, a State Councillor to King Sebastião. It was home to Franciscan monks, who searched for spiritual harmony by detaching themselves from the world and renouncing the pleasures associated with everyday life. The decor of the building was intentionally kept austere, using natural objects and cork for both protection and decoration. The resident monks took great care to maintain the surrounding landscape. The result is the preservation of Sintra's original flora. Elsewhere in the Sintra forest, foreign exotic plants were introduced to beautify gardens.


Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos) Skip The Line Ticket


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•  Reduced tickets available for visitors aged 6-17 and 65+
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Opening Times

Daily: 10h00 - 20h00, (last admission at 19h00)

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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

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Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)

Cork-lined walls of the interior

The small cells, corridors and sparse living space give the visitor an insight into the lives led by the brotherhood and instils a profound impression. The interior resembles a rabbit warren, the lack of space is somewhat claustrophobic. The cells were incredibly small, requiring the monks to carve foot holes in the walls to lay down comfortably. The doorways were also tiny, suggesting the monks were of short stature. The vast amount of cork insulating the walls must also have been useful as protected padding. The monestery is small with accommodation for only eight monks, the most famous of whom was Friar Honório who lived here 15 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 dining 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".


The monastery was designed to blend in with its surroundings effortlessly, but after an extended period of disuse, nature has taken it back. The overgrown foliage adds to the mystical beauty of the place. There were no attempts to create any man-made beautification but instead pay homage to nature's 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. The site is well-known for its frequent foggy conditions, which create a unique and special atmosphere. The 19th-century romantic poets were enchanted by its beauty, inspiring the likes of Lord Byron in 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 is part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra and was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage in 1995.

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Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)


Capuchos Convent (Convento dos Capuchos)


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).

CitySightseeing Bus Red Line Stop Number 10 [ More About ► ]

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 | |  Website