45 • H O L Y H I S T O R Y , M O D E R N M A J E S T Y • Another enchanting, moss-covered estate in Sintra is the CONVENT OF THE CAPUCHOS. Far from anything like a castle or palace, these holy grounds were built for a life characterized by daily devotion to God and the Catholic Church. There was no luxurious living. No fine dining. No glamorous galas to attend in stylish attire or mysterious weekend gatherings devoted to some sort of dark art. There was only the isolated, humble, monastic life. Located in the civil parish of São Pedro de Penaferrim, the convent originally consisted of eight Santa Cruz monks who worked, lived and prayed under the authority of D. João de Castro’s son, the administrator for King Sebastian of Portugal, D. Álvaro de Castro. From 1578 through 1580, the Chapel of Santo António was constructed, along with a wall that enclosed the convent, under direct order from Cardinal Henry. The next year, the eight friars there were visited by King Phillip II of Spain, who also oversaw the rule of Portugal. Many legends surround the foundation of the convent, including the story of its appearance via daydream to D. João de Castro. What is known for sure, however, is that the convent managed to stand the test of time for several centuries until the mid- 1900s when it was acquired by the Portuguese State. Ongoing repairs were made to the long-neglected property from 1949 all the way through 1994, ranging from reconstruction of the roofs of the chapel and farmhouse to the replacement of pipes and doors. In 1995, the convent was classified as part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra World Heritage Site. Today, the monastery appears long abandoned and overrun by the unyielding march of time, nature and the elements. Many carvings, tile workings, stone sculptures and other creative pieces devoted to the religious life remain behind and await adventurous explorers. The lush foliage that moved in long after humanity moved out enshrines this place with an evergrowing reminder of the former occupants of the Convent of the Capuchos.