Antigo Convento da Ordem de Avis

Antigo Convento da Ordem de Avis


The convent, with its church, sacristy, chapter room, dining hall, cloisters and bell tower, was purpose built to be headquarters of the Order of Avis back in the 12th century. The entranceway to the church is though a majestic marble door that has a royal shield dated 1717 at its centre. But the insignia of the Order - the cross with its horizontal sections finished in fleur-de-lis - is carved into the stone of the outer walls.

Within, there is but one nave, with the chapel to the right tiled in yellows and blues. The church holds the fine marble tomb of Fernão Rodrigues de Sequeira, the last of the elected masters of Avis. In the main chapel, there is an excellent carved Baroque altarpiece. Take the stairs up to the choir stalls for a look at the pews dating to the late 17th century. They are considered one of the finest examples of Portuguese Rocaille. The sacristy dates to the Renaissance period and features a fine archway supported by skilfully carved stone brackets.

In the former sleeping chambers, down on the ground floor, the Municipal Museum of Avis tells the region's story through archaeological finds, including Roman exhibits, as well as later examples of craftsmanship and scale replicas of monuments.


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