Convento de Santo António
THE ABANDONED CONVENT IN PORTUGAL
Convento de Santo António was founded around 1402 by a community of Franciscan friars. The construction of the convent lasted throughout the fifteenth century. It was finished in 1493, after Queen Eleanor of Viseu sponsored the construction.
In 1510 the construction of the cloister begun, in 1525 the building of the convent and the surrounding walls were completed. The side chapels were built around 1530 by António de Ataíde. A few years later, in 1550, he instituted the mausoleum in one of the chapels.
In the second half of the 16th century Jorge de Ataíde sponsored other works in the convent, ordering the rebuilding of the main chapel, the back choir, the sacristy, and the four galleries of the cloister. It was looted during the French Invasions, and became abandoned and vandalized after the extinction of the religious orders. The buildings were sold in 1838 to a silk spinning mill.
During the twentieth century, the convent space was being used for various purposes. Today, there are plans to convert the site to a rural hotel. The old cloister is a ruin now, the other buildings are in a bad state. The photos of Convento de Santo António were taken in 2016.