Monastery of Santa Cruz [Mosteiro de Santa Cruz]

It was founded in 1131 by the first Portuguese King Afonso Henriques and has been a symbol of religious devotion ever since. The monastery is located on a hill overlooking the city, and its stunning views are admired by visitors from all over the world.

The building itself has undergone several renovations over time, including an expansion ordered by King Dinis I in 1283 to accommodate more monks. This renovation added two new cloisters, one for each gender, as well as additional chapels and living quarters for the monks who lived there at that time.

Today, visitors can explore the monastery’s interior, which features beautiful frescoes painted between 1606-1609 depicting scenes from both Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In addition to these impressive works of art, you will also find an array of artifacts such as tombs dating back to 15th century kings Alfonso V and João II along with statues depicting various saints throughout history.

Aside from its historical significance, this site holds great spiritual importance too; it served as home to many famous Portuguese figures like Saint Anthony de Padua, who preached here during his lifetime (1195–1231). Moreover, it houses some important relics such as St Anthony’s tongue, which were brought here after his death for safekeeping before being moved elsewhere due to political unrest in 1834.

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