Pousada Flor da Rosa

We enjoyed wonderful walks in the Alentejo with the help of our new book from the Tourist Office – Chão da Velha, Carreiras, Montalvão, and Galegos – and our base during these days was the Pousada Flor da Rosa.

In 1232 King Sancho gave the village of Crato to the Order of Hospitallers (The Knights of St John of Jerusalem) and in 1240 it became the headquarters of the order. The head of the Order was known as the Prior of Crato and it was Prior Dom Álvaro Pereira who built the Monastery of Flor da Rosa in 1356, the ‘mother church’ of the Order. In the 15C the Order was renamed the Order of Malta. Today the site consists of the fortified Chapel, the Castle (with cistern under the lawn), the Renaissance buildings, and the new Hotel. This is one of the most important monuments in Portugal.

Pousada Flor da Rosa

Pousada Flor da Rosa

Pousada Flor da Rosa

Pousada Flor da Rosa

Pousada Flor da Rosa

The Chapel houses the tomb of the founder, Dom Álvaro Pereira, and is the most important fortified church in Portugal. It is a soaring, dark, cruciform space with no decoration, and it feels peaceful. Stairs lead to an upper floor and views over the countryside and the Cloister.

The Chapel of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa

The tomb of Dom Alvaro Pereira in the Chapel of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa

The Chapel of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa

The reception to the Chapel of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa The ceiling in the reception to the Chapel of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa

The Cloister is silent, with a strong reminder that this was the home of the Order of Malta.

The Cloister of the Pousada of Flor da RosaThe Cloister of the Pousada of Flor da RosaThe Cloister of the Pousada of Flor da Rosa seen from the roof of the Chapel

There are 15C and 16C statues of the Virgin and Child are on permanent display from the National Museum in a room off the Cloister and while my first reaction was that these were very stiff and wooden presentations I wondered if, with my camera, I could find a more human portrayal. I had no additional light sources or tripod.

Display of 15C & 16C statues of the Virgin & Child in the Pousada of Flor da Rosa Display of 15C & 16C statues of the Virgin & Child in the Pousada of Flor da Rosa

Display of 15C & 16C statues of the Virgin & Child in the Pousada of Flor da Rosa Display of 15C & 16C statues of the Virgin & Child in the Pousada of Flor da Rosa Display of 15C & 16C statues of the Virgin & Child in the Pousada of Flor da Rosa

This is the most magical of places – if you visit the Alentejo do linger here.

Further information
The Monastery of Flor da Rosa

Nuno Alvares Pereira
A visit to the Pousada Flor da Rosa

 

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