The preservation of the impressive collection of tiles requires a new way of using yhe museum wing. The old monks cells, their corridors and fountains are a real living museum. These spaces will be available only in exceptional cases, giving our guests the opportunity to not only visit the museum as being able to take advantage of this unique experience.
Secluded in the quietness and isolation of the western slopes of the Serra d?Ossa mountain, the Monastery of São Paulo was built in 1182 by hermit monks seeking the ideal place to live and pray in peace and quiet. In the heart of the Alentejo province, halfway between the town of Estremoz and the village of Redondo, it is now a comfortable and refined Hotel. Several historical accounts confirm that the convent has lodged, over the centuries, some prominent figures of Portugal's history like King D. Sebastião, King D. João IV and D. Catarina de Bragança who, in 1661, married the English King Charles II. The library of the Convent still holds a canvas depicting King D. Sebastião?s stay at the convent, in 1577, on his way to Northern Africa where he died in the battle of Alcácer Quibir. These and other tales and stories are just some of several different reasons that make the Hotel Convento de S. Paulo a marvellous and exciting place to stay.
Exhibiting a precious collection of around 54,000 portuguese tiles, the Convento de São Paulo owns the largest private collection of its kind in Portugal. The exquisite tiles, in a wonderful shade of cobalt blue, date back to the reigns of King D. João V and King D. José I, a magnificent collection produced in some of the finest and most well-known workshops in Lisbon back then. Some of the tiles were ordered with specific spaces in mind and must have been crafted by some of the most renown artists of the craft like those that can be seen in the Capela do Bispo, bearing the signature of António de Oliveira Bernardes or the ones that decorate the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, whose author is said to be Gabriel del Barco. Most of the panels, however, are the work of a master that undersigns his work as P.M.P. and are considered a remarkable work of craftsmanship.
FOUNTAINS AND TERRACOTTA
Florentine fountains decorate several interior and exterior spaces at the Covent. The Lyon Fountain, near the main entrance, used to be a pilgrimage destiny. The Fountain of the Dragon, in the Four Seasons' garden, is classified as a national interest monument. Strolling through the convent, at the Portaria Nova (New Main Entrance), you will find the Dolphin Fountain, dating back to he second half of the 18th century. The Cloisters as well as the Garden of the Novices are equally adorned with two other fountains. The ?terracotta? sculptures you can observe in niches around the Cloisters or at the Garden of the Novices, are from the 18th century. Come for a walk in the Garden of the Novices, day or night, and you will be fascinated by its magnificence.