I think I might have some news for my husband.
I want to go into a Convent.
I have one in mind, it stands alone in the hills, there is peace, tranquility and solitude.
All of the signs and emotions for this have been brewing for a while.
I need to spend some time in meditation and reflection.
I can only hope that he will understand.
I need an Art fix.
This is no ordinary Convent.. this is Convento de San Payo, the run-down ruin of a former convent that was lovingly restored and made into an art gallery by Sculptor, Jose Rodrígues.
Inside and out it is hard to believe the severity of the dilapidated state that this building was in at one time, and it becomes clear that much time and work had gone into it’s reconstruction.
There was a short film illustrating the restoration process… sadly I had to get the gist of it via the photos as it was entirely in Portuguese. I took some photos of the screen ( very bad photos but in better than nothing in the end I suppose) to give you a small idea of just how much has been poured into this tiny building, off the beaten track in the hills behind Vila Nova de Cerveira.
Fortunately this is a ” convent” that welcomes not just me but also my husband and children for a visit. The hours are limited:
Janeiro a Maio, Outubro a Dezembro
Sábado, Domingo e Feriado
10h00 às 13h00 e das 15h00 às 18h00
Junho, Julho, Agosto e Setembro
4ª, 5ª, Sábado, Domingo e Feriado
15h00 às 20h00
…and the website http://www.conventosanpayo.com/ is sadly also only in Portuguese, but it’s worth a visit even if only to click on the ” contactos” button to check out the best map to direct you there that I’ve seen anywhere in ages.
I can attest that following this map would get you there perfectly without any hassle at all and is a most excellent for those of us who are navigationally challenged.
Here are some photos showing the building evolving from a ruin into an Art Gallery… I’m going to intermingle some of the photos so that you can get a little bit of a “before and after” effect.
Even the chapel has been restored…
..but this is only the structure, there is more, much more…