Arouca's Convent

Arouca

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The Arouca Convent was founded in the 10th century, in honour to Saint Peter, considered to be one of the richest ones in Portugal. It belonged to the Order of Cistercians, has a Roman classicism style, with many golden carved wood covering.

The life of this monastery was marked by D. Mafalda, the daughter of king D. Sancho the 1st (1185 to 1211). In 1220 she joins the Convent, increasing the importance of this already influent monastery in the political and administrative life of the region, through the big donations this queen made. D. Mafalda was sanctified and her tomb rests in this monument.

Big works are made in the 16th century, mainly in the altars, and in the 17th century the Monastery is increased, housing in the end of the century 100 nuns and 300 servants.

In the 18th century a big fire takes place, destroying a major part of the convent, leading to long conservation works that last over 20 years. Nevertheless in 1935 another fire lead into new conservation works.
The convent was extinct in 1886, all its goods were transferred into the state treasuries, yet its valorous collections is kept and shown in the interesting Holy Art Museum, installed in the convent.

This monument has recently been having conservation works, in order to better preserve important works such as sculpture works by Braga Jacinto Vieira, paintings by Luís Vieira da Cruz , among many other.

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