The Convento de Sao Saturnino is built in a Mediterranean style common to the buildings around Sintra. Inside it is a warren of passages and rooms on different levels as the building follows a lush and beautiful valley sloping down to the sea. Some distance from the village of Azoia and surrounded by gardens and woodland, it is an oasis of peace and tranquillity.
In the past the site appears to have hosted a variety of buildings, possibly including a water-mill and a lighthouse. Although much of their history is obscured by the mists of time, they are the foundation for the today’s building. During the reconstruction, which began in 1998, many artefacts and documents were found which suggest that the site was once home to the cult of Sao Saturnino also celebrated at an hermitage at Peninha about one hour walk away.
The labyrinthine interior, the beautiful and tranquil setting and the mysterious past all combine to make Convento de Sao Saturnino a unique and unforgettable experience.
Paul Kichilov Gallery