Convent of Saint Savior of Vilar De Frades

The Convent of Vilar de Frades is located in Areias de Vilar, Barcelos, and was probably founded in 556 by Bishop St. Martin of Dume, although this is not proven. No traces remain of that time, since the Muslim invasions led to its ruin. The space began as a Benedictine monastery in the 11th century.

In 1425, it was handed over to a new congregation, the Canons of S. Salvador de Vilar de Frades, known as Lóios, and became the congregation’s mother house in Portugal.

After 1834, the Convent of Vilar de Frades passed to the state and was then sold at public auction. From an area of 90 hectares, everything was sold to private individuals, except for the church, the sacristy and the cloister, which remained as the parish residence. The convent wings and the convent fence were closed off and sold to private individuals, initially being turned into a farm. In 1953, it was bought by Artur Cupertino de Miranda who, in 1957, sold it to the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, which still has a presence there today with the St. Joseph’s Home for the Mentally Ill.

In the 1960s, the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God ceded to the Municipality of Barcelos the fountain in the cloister of the Convent of Vilar de Frades, which today stands in Largo da Porta Nova and is classified as a National Monument,

It has been a national monument since 1910. In 1994, renovation work began on the Vilar de Frades Convent and in 2006 the space was opened to the public.

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