Pousada of Vila Vicosa

posted in: Home, Portugal | 2

We were sad to leave Palmela and Setubal, but it was time to move on to our next stop at the Pousada of Vila Vicosa. We had stayed here in the past and it was always very enjoyable.

A brief history of the Pousada

The Convent of Chagas de Cristo was founded 500 years ago by D Jaime, 4th Duke of Braganca, in 1514 and given to the Order of Santa Clara. The convent was a haven for unmarried daughters.

Pousada at Vila Vicosa
Pousada at Vila Vicosa

It was very rich because most of the nuns came from the highest nobility in Portugal ensuring the convent received vast rents and annuities, thus becoming known as the Rich Nuns Convent.

Some of the nuns had private accommodation and were accompanied by their maids. In the time of Dom Joao V there were 80 nuns in the convent. This was the last convent to close down after the closure of the religious establishments, and the last nun, Sister Maria Carolina da Piedade died in 1905.

Finally, in 1997, the building was converted to a hotel.

Inside the Pousada

The pousada is a rabbit warren of rooms and it is fun to wander around the two-storey building. Most of the rooms seem to be unused and there are many interesting details, including wall paintings.

Decorated ceiling in a room off the cloister
Decorated ceiling in a room off the cloister
Decorated sitting room
sitting area in the posada of Vila Vicosa
Main sitting area on the ground floor

The garden

The garden is small, but provides a pleasing and quiet space in which to wander in the evenings, or just sit and read.

We stayed in the Pousada of Vila Vicosa for three nights and it was a joy.

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