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Convento Évora Pousada

sala interior Pousada de évora

Anyone arriving at the Convento Évora Pousada by car can leave it parked until checkout time: the hotel is ideally located and most sightseeing can be done on foot. With the Gothic cathedral on one side and the Roman temple on the other, it’s only five minutes to the main square (Praça do Giraldo). The pousada is in the very heart of a city-museum, capital of the Alto Alentejo region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. 

The place is a well-hidden secret and larger than it looks from the street. The original building dates back to the 15th century, when King João II ordered the construction of the São João Evangelista monastery on land that belonged to the city’s old castle. Arab in origin, the remaining walls are now part of the pousada. No stranger to misfortune, the castle had already endured a serious fire during the dynastic crisis of 1383-1385, and later, with the monastery rechristened Loios convent, it was seriously affected by the great earthquake of 1755, which decimated parts of Évora. With the dissolution of the monasteries in 1834, the building was left uninhabited for over 100 years. In 1922, it was classified as a national monument and, in the 1960s, converted into a historic pousada.

The Convento dos Loios Pousada opened in 1965, having kept the monastery’s structure virtually untouched. The building is organised around a two-storey cloister, with the lower floor, which is lined with tiles from the Évora Museum, home to a number of common spaces. Breakfast is served in the monks’ old refectory, as are other meals during the colder months. What was once the convent kitchen is now one of the finest lounges.

The stairway leading to the first floor is also worth a closer look. Made of marble and surrounded by impressive iron chandeliers, there’s an enormous Arraiolos tapestry – around three metres by eight – hanging on the wall. Made especially for the convent between the 17th and 18th centuries, it’s covered with references to the Age of Discovery, with images ranging from horses to mermaids and dragons.

The top floor houses the bedrooms, most of which have been adapted from the monks’ cells, with each room occupying the space of at least two cells. One highlight is the Dom João suite, where the daily rate ranges from €400 to €800. The walls and ceilings of this particular room boast colourful 18th-century frescoes, while the rest of the décor follows suit with marble pieces and a gorgeous chandelier. “One of a kind”, says Filipe Beja Simões, pousada manager.

vista da Pousada convento Évora

Pousada Convento de Évora

A well-kept secret in the heart of Alentejo.

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