Convento de Santa Clara, Vila do Conde

#2 of 9 in Historic Sites in Vila do Conde
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Monastery of Santa Clara or Convent of Santa Clara in Vila do Conde, Portugal was one of the biggest and richest feminine convents in Portugal, founded in 1318, by Afonso Sanches and his wife, Teresa Martins Telo.
The large historical complex includes the Gothic Santa Clara Church (1318), nearby Manueline late Gothic constructions and the current proper monastery, built in the early phase of the neoclassical style in 1777. The Monastery is located in a hilltop and includes large walls that protect the monastery from the east and the Santa Clara Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in Portugal. The monastery is considered a fundamental temple of the Portuguese Gothic architecture North of Douro river.
The monastery's construction began in 1318 by Afonso Sanches, bastard son of King Denis of Portugal, and his wife, Teresa Martins Telo. It is thought that the Castle of the Counts of Cantanhede existed in there. In 1319, the founders donated the site to the Clarisses, who were responsible for the temple's architecture that remains to the present day.
The internal organization of the community was established in rulings by the founders, in which they donated several villas and hamlets in Póvoa de Varzim and farms in Touginha, Beiriz, Terroso, Formariz, Laundos, Navais, and Mirante, with an obligation that four chaplains would pray four masses per day honouring their founders and King Denis.
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  • The “Convento de Santa Clara” is located in the city of Vila do Conde, who belongs to the district of Porto. It was a female convent who dated back from the year 1318 and extinct in the 19th century.....  more »
  • This massive building is towering over the whole town, it's unreal and out of proportion...I went up and nearly circled the building, unfortunately no way in, all was locked...still worth seeing...  more »
  • Belle architecture
  • The Convent of Santa Clara is located in the town of Vila do Conde, Porto District, Portugal. It was a female convent instituted in 1318 and extinct in the NINETEENTH century. From the old ensemble, we have the magnificent Gothic-style church and part of the Conventual building, partially rebuilt in the EIGHTEENTH century. The convent was founded on the initiative of D. Afonso Sanches Filho Bastard of Dinis I of Portugal, and his wife, D. Teresa Martins. From the heritage built over the centuries, we are left today the church (see: Church of the Convent of Santa Clara), in Gothic style, the residential area (formerly designated as the "new dormitories"), built in the EIGHTEENTH century, the arches of the old cloister with its Fountain and the extensive aqueduct-the aqueduct of Santa Clara, partly destroyed. In the church are some important tombs: the de Beatriz de Portugal, daughter of Bl. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the Counts of Cantanhede and the founders. One of the most notable moments in the history of the convent occurred under the Abbess D. Isabel de Castro (1518-1543). The reconstructions of 1777 in Taste Neopalladino is of Master Mason Henrique Ventura Lobo, who worked in the chain of the Court of the relationship of Porto. The legend of the abbess Berengaria and the legend of the girl of the Merendeiro-originating from the convent-testify, from the part of the nuns of the House, longing for a very purified Christian experience. After the decree of extinction of religious orders (1834), life in the convent was slowly fading, until it reached its end in 1892, with the death of the last nun. In 1902 the premises of the former convent received the House of Detention and correction of the port, then reformatory of Vila do Conde and professional School of Santa Clara, then known as the Educational center of Santa Clara, establishment of guardianship of minors That worked up to 2007. After 2007 it was abandoned. In September 2008 a contract was signed between Turismo de Portugal and Grupo Pestana with a view to its transformation in Pousada de Portugal, which was not carried out. In 2015 after agreement with the Chamber of Vila do Conde, the monastery underwent rehabilitation interventions with the aim of housing the municipalized services of Vila do Conde. The convent was rehabilitated with regard to roofs, facades, petrous elements and painted wooden frames. In 2018, the government through the Revive program, Concessionou to the touristic use the property with the legal model of surface law for a period of 50 years. The building will be converted into a 5-star hotel with 90 rooms, restaurant and spa. The winner of the contest was the Azorean company. Mr. Slicedays.
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