Built in 1169, the Cistercian monastery of São Bento de Castris, one of the oldest female religious houses in Portugal, dates back to the 14th century, and the church was consecrated in the year 1328. The current temple features traces of the Romanesque, Gothic, Mudejar, Manueline and Baroque heritage, but the main interventions occurred in the reign of D. Manuel, a period in which it was substantially altered under the aegis of the Casa dos Almeidas nobles. The building is built around a central cloister, making the entrance to the convent complex through a portico topped by triangular pediment and slender pinnacles, with the center engraved the arms of St. Bernard of Clairvaux flanked by two niches, currently empty and originally intended for patrons of the Cistercian Order, St. Bernard and St. Benedict. This passage communicates with a large patio that opens to the main façade of the temple – the South – as well as to the two remaining outbuildings – to the North –, respectively House of the Intendant and House of the Confessor.
Address: Monte S. Bento de Castris, Évora, Portugal