For our second stop of the day we grabbed a taxi and made our way to the Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra or Convent of the Capuchos which it is also called.
Now this is truly a unique place. And surprisingly there was almost nobody there at all when we arrived. We saw only 3 people over an hour exploring the grounds which made it a very cool experience. The convent gave us both some time to pause, enjoy the atmosphere, and think about the present and future in some peace and quiet.
The convent was founded in 1560 and consisted of 8 monks from the Convent of Arrábida. Between 1578 and 1580, the Chapel of Santo António was built and also a wall that circled the convent. The convent is located in the mountains near Sintra, and has views towards the Atlantic coast.
You can see in the photos below that the walls and ceilings were lined with cork that was cut into interesting designs. This was a form of both insulation from the cold and decoration as you can see. Shells and tile pieces were also used for decoration inside the convent. The ancient corridors, doors, and rooms were all very small. I’m sure this also helped keep things warm during the colder months.
This is a very magical and peaceful spot to visit compared to the more crowded scenes at the Sintra palaces. The convent is out of the way compared to the Sintra palaces, but 100% worth the taxi ride if you do not have a car. Plus, afterwards you can quickly drive over to the Palácio Nacional da Pena for your next site of the day. From there, you can walk to the Castle of the Moors, and then back to the centre of Sintra within 30 minutes.