Santo António Church and Convent
The Santo António Church and Convent in honour of Nossa Senhora da Anunciação (Our Lady of the Annunciation), have their origin in a community of friars, the Capuchos Recoletos, founded in 1598. Initially, it consisted of a small church and a few shelter houses. In November 1601, construction work began to enlarge and restore the building, which lasted for several years due to the size of the building and the friars’ financial difficulties. In 1609, the chancel was built at the expense of Lady Brites Brandoa, patron of the temple, and who wished to own a grave there. The church was built in 1619 with the features that can be admired to this day.
In 1834, with the extinction of the Religious Orders, the City Council took over the convent and converted it into a court of law. About 150 years later, the whole area of the convent was returned to the Fábrica Paroquial (parish) and major restoration works were carried out on the complex which, with the help of the people of Lourinhã, were completed in 1993.
The convent, small in size and mannerist in design, has a square plan, with two floors and Tuscan order arcades. It was built around a cloister and a well, and its walls are covered by 18th-century tiles with baluster motifs alternating with angels carrying baskets of flowers. The upper floor is supported by Tuscan order columns.
The church has a rectangular plan and its single-nave interior has a cradle vault. The side walls are decorated with 18th-century ashlar Albarrada tile panels. On the left, there is a small chapel with a 17th-century stained glass window and a baptismal font. On the right, there is a chapel in honour of St Anthony, with a beautiful Florentine marble altarpiece. The frontal part and the walls are covered with tiles dating back to 1714, which illustrate the Miracle of the Mule and the Sermon to the Fish. Worthy of note are the neoclassical gilded woodcarving side altars and two side chapels also decorated with tiles. The chancel, with its cradle vault, is preceded by a triumphal arch and is decorated with 18th-century tile panels depicting scenes of the Calvary and the Miracles of St Anthony. To the left of the altar, next to the Pulpit, there is a mausoleum – the tomb of Lord Brás Henriques, and in the centre a neoclassical woodcarved altarpiece painted gold and blue.
Outside the church, on the façade, the portico with its triangular pediment, Christ on the Cross and the oculus that illuminates the high choir, stand out. On the right, the buttresses and protrusions of the chapels are visible, and on the left, the bell tower with its clock, which was the only one in existence in Lourinhã for many years.