Convento dos Capuchos
Convento dos Capuchos
4.5
Historic SitesReligious Sites
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
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.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles576 reviews
Excellent
343
Very good
147
Average
51
Poor
20
Terrible
15

JJJC_Family
Virginia787 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
This had slipped and out of the itinerary as planning for the trip progressed. When we left home it was in it, but due to my wife not feeling well, we lost two of the four days we had planned to be in Sintra. A third day started real late and was diverted to Mafra when GPS had us running in circles when we tried to go to Sintra National Palace and I had mistakenly not changed it from walking to driving on a previous search and finally in frustration saw the sign to Mafra and since we missed it on way down from north due to getting out late and mistakenly adding Alcobaca because I couldn't remember we had seen it before after seeing Batalha Monastery and then not having sufficient time to see the Palace there. Is that a run-on sentence? Any way the fourth day we saw Sintra National Palace and then Quinta da Regaleira. And though our time was up in Sintra because we had to be down in Estoi in southern Portugal and we had a hotel that night, I put my foot down and said we were going to spend the day in Sintra so we could see Montserrate. Besides it was already too late to drive to Estoi and we were too tired to do it, regardless. So we changed our hotel reservation in Estoi to start the following day. When we woke, early for us, we set our sights on going straight to Montserrate, but the GPS wasn't cooperating and took us all over the place. We finally pulled out the map and triangulated using the GPS to get us there. As we went, we passed by a sign for Convento dos Capuchos and I decided we would make a quick stop. How's that for an intro?

Now to the actual review, if you are still paying attention. I found the place interesting, bordering on fascinating. Truthfully, it was unlike any other place I had seen. It was truly minimalist monastic style of life. Tiny spaces to live, work, eat, spare as can be. San Marco in Florence was a luxury hotel by comparison. I had to have an admiration for the people who gave up all semblance of a normal life for their religious fervor. You can't be wishy-washy in your beliefs and bunk here. I think that when I learn something on a trip that really brings to life what I had read about, makes me understand something at its core, it's special and will be remembered forever.

I agree about the nature part. It was off on its own, in nature and that added to it. It was peaceful and quiet. Hell, I could have signed up.

This is not a glossy tourist site like the palaces, but if you have the time and I submit you should make the time, you should take a detour and try something different. Who knows? It might even change your life.
Written October 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RAUL BASTOS
Sintra, Portugal38 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Family
The Capuchin Convent was built in 1560 by D. Álvaro de Castro, State Councillor of King Sebastian and comptroller of Finance, as a result of the fulfilment of a vow of his father, D. João de Castro, fourth Viceroy of India.
The Convent of Santa Cruz da Serra de Sintra - Convento dos Capuchos - thus emerged in a secluded and inhospitable place, whose natural conditions at the time of its founding certainly had a strong influence on the choice of location.
The capuchin convent in Sintra is one of many examples of pietistic religiosity of the sixteenth century in Portugal and was known by the extreme poverty of its construction. With small dimensions with cells and dormitory-lined cork and a chapel whose dome formed in the rock itself, motivate the statement that William Beckford (owner of Quinta of Monserrate) in 1787 recounted his visit to the Convent saying “we follow for several miles a narrow shortcut on a wild and deserted hill that led us to the Capuchin Convent, which at first sight corresponds to the image that has the address of Robinson Crusoe”.
The Convent embodies the ideal of universal brotherhood and sisterhood of Franciscan friars. Those who have inhabited integrated themselves in the Province of Arrábida (south of Lisbon, near Setubal), of the Order of Friars Minor Observant and Regular.
The ordinance of the convent, a simple shed with roof and wooden beams lined with cork, is just an expression of poverty and containment that guided this construction, devoid of decorative elements.
Still inhabited in the late eighteenth century, the Convent of Santa Cruz Capuchin has been abandoned in 1834, with the extinction of the religious orders which had determined the liberal regime.
Existing artistic elements in the convent present themselves today much degraded, the result of time itself, and especially the acts of vandalism that this whole monument was submitted.
The rusticity of the convent, however, could not be adulterated by the austerity inherent in an almost rupestrian structure. On a visit to the building, we go through of its cramped corridors embedded in blocks of granite, and let us bedarken the everyday of these religious. From the Church we pass to the High Choir where the friars chanted the songs of the celebration of the Mass. One finds, in this location, the entrance to the corridor of cells, whose small doors forced to adopt a posture of genuflection, expression of humility before the intimacy of that venue. Down the corridor is the dining room where meals were held on a stone table, offered by Cardinal Henry as proof of his admiration for the life that the friars led here. Through an opening in the wall, one can glimpse the kitchen and further, the Novice Cell.
In the Water House, you can see the concern of the friars with the hygiene and sanitation of the environment in which they lived.
The vegetation surrounding the Convent in nowadays is due to policies of forest management in the mid-nineteenth century. Previously, the site was much more open and sunny as can be seen in contemporary friars’ pictures. Outside the fence of the convent grounds were also cultivated and practiced shepherding. The woods were limited to the rocky terrain and the tops of the cliffs. The woods of the convent, with its ancient oaks and large shrubs, surely benefited from the protection of religious. Having survived until our days, the forest is probably the most important witness to the primitive forest of Sintra. This forest is composed of a woody, sub-Mediterranean formation, dominated by deciduous oaks, with elements of Mediterranean Forest and profusion of ferns, mosses and epiphytes and vines that surround and all overlying the dense matted vegetation.
The Convent, as mentioned above, is of small size, "lost" in the middle of surrounding forest, but the place and building emanates, for those who enjoy these kind of sites, peace, religiosity and tranquillity, that justify the visit.
Written November 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malgorzata
12,086 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
An authentic monastery built in the heart of the Sintra Nature Park. The Convent of the Capuchos is a historical convent consisting of small quarters and public spaces located in the civil parish of Sao Pedro de Penaferrim, in the municipality of Sintra. Poverty was the central notion which ruled the construction of the Convent of the Capuchos. Fascinating to see how they lived in such simplicity. The site is located in the rural part of Sintra, along the northeastern flank of the Sintra Mountains, approximately 325 metres above sea level, in a location marked by dense vegetation and accentuated slopes. The minimalist convent was erected in perfect harmony with its surroundings, implanted in the rocks and boulders that formed this part of the Sintra Mountains. A good place to enjoy nature and see how the Franciscans lived in the 16th century without wealth. A quiet place with peace and greenery all around. Really interesting place, away from the main tourist routes. Not many tourists, peace and contemplative mood. Beautiful garden, pleasant walk. In place routes thought out for tourists - with lighting inside the buildings. There are parking, toilets and places for a rest. A beautiful drive there. Though all drives in this area mean narrow, winding, mountain roads.
Written June 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paulandc0
Sintra, Portugal4,763 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
We have been going there repeatedly to show visiting friends as this was one of our favorite places in the area. But lately, they started an in-depth maintenance program and the place is now extremely noisy on week days. One of the most enjoyable features of this convent is the calm that reigns in the Hills of Sintra: this is no more the case.
And they don´t tell you anything when you buy your tickets or even offer a discount entry fee.
Written August 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sophocles
Portland, OR174 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
A previous reviewer said to not visit; I heartily for a different reason: if you are looking for a Disneyesque site, like all the rest of Sintra, go elsewhere. If you want to imagine the life of the Capuchin order, and are willing to use your brain and heart a teensy bit, by all means come here. I recommend accessing from the south, rather than via SIntra, especially in the summer, to avoid the eternity of tour buses. Although I am lapsed from a different religious tradition, I can still feel the mystery and majesty of this site.
Written April 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nmlhats
Dallas, TX241 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
The convent (monastery) ruins are fascinating to visit. You will gain new appreciation for the strict ascetic and abstemious lifestyle these monks followed as part of their ongoing spiritual formation hundreds of years ago. The surroundings are entirely natural and entirely beautiful, providing a real respite from the crowds in the center of Sintra or at Pena Palace. There are many corners to explore on the grounds, many with the remnants of paintings of saints, Christ, etc. Everyone who was with me treasured the time we spent there. Visit is best enjoyed with a private guide if possible.
Written June 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

meandstar
wellington113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
A lot of people do not get time to go here. I would recommend you make time. I was fascinated by the place and stories. Very spiritual feeling in some rooms
Written March 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SG13L
Lisbon, Portugal52 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012 • Couples
Actually I visited a few years ago, but as tripadvisor doesn t allow me to go earlier in time, i had to set up this date (February 2012). It is a nice place and is in the middle of the nature and is a beautiful walk from Sintra or Cascais, where you can look at wonderful views over the sea and the Serra de Sintra (if you make that car ride from Cascais).
Written January 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oenedgar
Simpsonville, SC168 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
There is something about Capuchos that defies my words. I found it to be at once peaceful and yet a place that conjurs up the comings and goings of people all through the ages. It is not fancy or grand, but rather having a beauty all its own.
Written January 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick I
Toronto, Canada33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
This is probably one of the most unbelievable places i have visited. It's like a different World and you can't believe people lived like this. Breath taking in a strange way. You'll have to experience it for yourself!
Written January 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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