Thirty-two convents in Lisbon open their doors for free visits

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Lisbon is going to show, free of charge, to the population and visitors, the history of 32 convents through free or guided tours to those buildings, disclosed today the City Council.

The ‘Open Convents’ project was presented today at a press conference, held at the Bernardas Convent – Museu da Marioneta, as an initiative that aims to show the importance of the buildings in witnessing the conventual history and the development of the city of Lisbon.

The initiative will take place from May 24th to 27th, but only on the last two days will the 32 chosen convents be open.

The 24th was reserved for the official opening of ‘Open Conventos’ and the 25th for a debate under the theme “Conventos and housing”.

On May 26 and 27 there are visits to the convents, which can be guided or free.

The organization also offers walking trails that pass by several convents.

The guided tours and walking tours are done with professionals in the area, require prior booking, and have a maximum limit of 30 people.

In the case of free visits, they can be accompanied by a digital guide and there is no need to register.

Among the 32 convents included in the project, the oldest is the Madre de Deus Convent, located in the Tile Museum, and the most recent is the São Domingos Convent, in Alto dos Moinhos.

All are free to visit, except for the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.

In statements to the Pp , Hélia Silva, from the Heritage Studies Center of the Lisbon City Hall, explained that the 32 convents of the ‘Open Convents’ were chosen among the more than 70 convents and monasteries that exist in Lisbon, because they are closed, difficult to access and reserved spaces or that, despite being open, have other purposes and their religious origin goes unnoticed.

Hélia Silva also emphasized to Pp the importance of the project, stating that it shows the quality and details of the works, and the visitors end up paying “greater attention to the need for conservation and restoration, demanding their politicians to rehabilitate the Portuguese heritage.

The ‘Open Convents’ project was born in 2019, through a joint partnership between the Lisbon City Council, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, Turismo do Patriarcado de Lisboa and the Institute of Art History of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon, with the aim of creating greater proximity between the population and the material and immaterial heritage of the country.

In the 1st edition of this project, in 2019, more than 3,000 people visited several convents, so the organization plans to continue the ‘Open Convents’ in 2024, with new features and a greater number of buildings open to the population.

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