Convent, palace, library, church… built on a promise, the most important baroque building in Portugal.
It’s construction began in 1717, based on a promise made by the king D. João V who was whiling for a son to be the heir of the kingdom and it’s history inspired the Portuguese Nobel writer Saramago to write the book “Memorial do Convento”. It was only possible to be made because of the gold from Brazil and it represents the barroque architecture in Portugal, housing one of the most important library’s in the country (around 40000 books).
It is famous among Portuguese because of some interesting details. It is said that giant rats live at the convent, capable of eating humans. It is also said that a secret tunnel links the palace to Ericeira, a village near by. The set of 92 bells – carrilons – is claimed to be one of the biggest in Europe and the best in the world.
At the amazing library, you can visit the last habitants of the palace – the bats that eat the insects that destroy the books!