Convento de Sao Francisco do Monte
Back in Portugal, me and Jolien visited an amazing abandoned monastery, the “Convent of Saint Francis of the Mountain”. This was truly on of the best places I’ve ever visited; ancient ruins overgrown with vines, cracked and fallen stone slabs with ancient, Latin religious inscriptions and even some remnants of painted iconography. It was truly like something from a fantasy movie.
On the way up int the hills, starting from a dead end street in a suburb, you quickly encounter the ancient gate and path paved with big boulders. Halfway to the monastery stands a pillar with a cross.
When the monastery comes into view, you’re greeted with one of the most impressive pieces straight away; the huge entrance gate with 3 statues rising out of the vines that have slowly grown towards the top.
The main entrance has been tread most by visitors, and the main entrance is pretty much the only part where some conservation attempts have happened.
Inside you go through lots of overgrown hallways and doorways, all without ceiling and with vines and weeds popping up everywhere.
Eventually you end up in the part that used to be the church. Two stone slabs with Latin scriptures lie on the floor in a crooked manor, even more vines scale the chapel walls.
The church area is really impressive, reminding of a romantic era-painting; a bucolic vista where nature retakes human architecture.
After a stroll around the outer premises completing a successful visit, we left the ruins behind to continue to the end of our journey.
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