The Convent of the Capuchos or Cork Convent was established in 1560 by Álvaro de Castro, Counsellor of State to King Sebastião, with the name with the name “Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra de Sintra” (Convent of the Holy Cross of the 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.
Abandoned in 1834, with the abolition of the religious orders brought about by the liberal regime, it was purchased by the Count of Penamacor and later by Francis Cook. Built with respect for the harmony between human and divine construction, it is based on nature, inseparable from the vegetation, incorporating enormous granite rocks into the building.
The wood that surrounds it, having survived the gradual deforestation of the Sintra hills, was cared for and maintained for centuries by the friars who lived in the Convent. It therefore constitutes an exceptional example of the primitive forest of the Sintra hills, made up principally of deciduous oaks, with elements of the Mediterranean maquis, such as a great profusion of ferns, mosses, epiphytes and climbing plants, which wrap and cloak everything in a dense tangle of vegetation. Because of its rarity, its state of conservation and the importance of many specimens, this wood represents an important natural asset worth safeguarding.
Open daily apart from 1 January and 25 December
Timetable: 9am – 6:00pm (last ticket and last admission: 5pm)
Check the ongoing programming at www.parquesdesintra.pt to find out about the different activities, events and experiences available in this location.
For further information: email@example.com; +351 219 237 300
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