After stopping at the Cabo da Roca, we drove back into the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The drive alone was incredible: beautiful trees, winding roads that twisted up a hillside. Our next stop was at ruins of the centuries old Convent of the Capuchos.
Literally translating to the “Cork Convent”, its name comes from the insulation used in the construction of the buildings here. It was first formed in the mid-1500s, and according to the lovely brochure that I’ve been saving for this exact occasion,
The Cork Convent was built in accordance with a philosophy that stressed harmony between human and divine works, for which reason the building merges inseparably with nature and the surrounding vegetation, incorporation enormous granite boulders. Through the exercise of contemplation, fulfilling the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, the friars worshipped the Creator through what they considered to be His greatest work; the natural world”
Though the convent has ceased to be operated as such, and is now simply a series of ruins to be toured by visitors, you can easily see the convent’s philosophy at work. It’s impossible to wander through the small buildings, built into the side of a hill, without reflecting on the beauty and calming effects of nature. The smell and feel in the air of so much nature all in one place was truly magical. And this magical place really was the perfect start to a magical day in magical Sintra.
We spent about an hour exploring all the nooks and crannies of these small, simple buildings. We snapped some great photos, and also some “band photos”. There were lots of laughs at this early point in our roadtrip, and that continued on throughout the day.
Check out the photos below!