The legacy of Franciscan Observance convents in Portugal: overview of their reuse towards a sustainable development
Rolando Volzone, Soraya Genin
ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Regenerating Cultural Religious Heritage: Intercultural Dialogue on Places of Religion and Rituals
The legacy of St. Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226) still survives through his rules and spiritual texts, as well as in the architectural structures built by the Franciscan order, with their surrounding landscape and territory. The gradual abandonment of religious houses, culminating with the definitive dissolution of the Portuguese religious orders in 1834, led to the loss of their original function and values. Most of the over 400 Franciscan complexes identified through previous research have been altered or abandoned, are in a ruinous state, or have disappeared. Sometimes they are unknown, even to the local inhabitants. This study presents an overview of the 33 scattered Franciscan Observance conventual cultural heritage sites. Upon identifying the settlements, we undertook a census of the existing physical structures, with analysis of their owners, conservation state, and reuse.