Convent of Santa Maria de Cós

One can´t fail to mention the magnificent Church of the Convent of Cós as obligatory passage for those who want to know a little more about the colonization action of the Cistercian monks of Alcobaça.

Cós is one of the oldest settlements in the Couto of Alcobaça Monastery. Here it settled a religious community of Cistercians women. And in the XV century Santa Maria de Cós became one of the richest feminine monasteries of the Cistercian Order of Portugal.

The Church, being restored nowadays, witness, in its Baroque artistic splendor, the wealth and grandeur of the community.

The convent of Santa Maria de Cós was founded on April 20, 1279, by the Abbot of Alcobaca D. Fernando, complying testamentary disposition of King D. Sancho II. The convent was rebuilt at the end of the XVII century and today nothing more remains than the church, the sacristy with its attachments and some ruined remains of the dormitory and barn.

The decoration of the ceilings of the church and the sacristy is a unique case among the Cistercian Abbeys of Spain and Portugal. This decoration is part of the movement of religious painting in vogue in the XVIII century.

The Church is divided in the middle by a grid enclosed in gilt. The altar is a beautiful gilded purposes of the XVII century, having in the tribune a sculpture of the Holy Family.

The walls are tiled in blue and white – Juncal – of the last quarter XVII century. In Regard to the Choir, its walls present itself totally covered with mosaics of the XVIII century, surrounding a splendid stalls.

On the back wall of the choir, there’s a Manueline door, composed of two armillary spheres, royal arms and a Cross of Christ.

In the sacristy, covered with blue and white tiles, a history with ten panels, shows scenes from the life of Bernard of Clairvaux.

Outwardly, we note the statues of St. Benedict and S. Bernard, topped by pillars, to the west.