The first stone of the Convent of Lóios in Évora was laid in 1487 by the first Count of Olivença, Rodrigo de Melo, head-guardian of King Afonso V, and also Governor of Tangier who had two years earlier begun building the adjoined church ( of the invocation of St. John the Evangelist), destined for the family pantheon. With the permission of King John II and the Bishop Garcia de Meneses, the work proceeded in such a way that in 1491 the monastic complex was practically finished, and the consecration of the church could take place that same year. A few years later, in 1498, the existing buildings were expanded until they reached the facilities of Colégio dos Meninos do Coro da Sé in Évora.
Built on what was left of a medieval castle, the convent is an excellent architectural testimony of the Alentejo Late Gothic. The façade, already a result of an intervention in the eighteenth century (1755), stands on a lower level presenting a single register with windows of rectangular section, and a simple portico in stonework under a small classical porch supported by elegant doric columns.
The convent of quadrangular design is structured around a cloister with two floors with galleries open by pointed arches resting on robust pillars of addorsed colonnades: capitals decorated with plant motifs.
The second floor is composed of twin arches, surmounted by small oculus.
Highlights: on the ground floor, the entrance to the old Chapter Hall, already of the sixteenth century, open by an exuberant mullioned porch, with horseshoe arches, perfect example of Manueline-Mudéjar regional architecture.
In this same door is a medallion evoking the participation, of D. Rodrigo in the Battle of Azamor in 1508, reason why the works in this room will have approximate dating. SML