Initially designed as a small convent for 13 monks, Mafra's project suffered successive changes, ending in a huge building of approximately 40.00 m2, with all the facilities for 300 Franciscans monks.
Convent St. Francis Xavier
The King ensured the support of the convent by paying all the expenses from his own “pocket”. Monks were given fees twice a year, at Christmas and at St. John's day. The fees consisted of tobacco, paper, linen and burel cloth for the habits. Each brother received two habits that he had to wash and mend himself. 120 wine barrels, 70 olive oil barrels or 600 cows, for instance, were spent each year in the Convent. Nearby was the fence garden, with an orchard, several water tanks and four ballgame fields for the monks’ recreation, one for the ring game and two to play a traditional game called “laranjinha”. In the early 19th century, during the Peninsular War, the convent was occupied by French troops and later by British allied troops. With the extinction of religious orders in Portugal, on 30th May 1834, the convent was and has been, until the present day, successively occupied by several military regiments. Since 1890 it is occupied by the army and is today the headquaters of the School of the Arms.
Noteworthy, among the convent spaces, the Cemetery Chapel and the Infirmary, besides the Chapter Room, the Literary Acts (Examination) Hall, the La Lys staircase and the Refectory. These last can be visited by appointment.
Cemetery Chapel Infirmary
Chapter House Literay Acts Hall
La Lys staircase Refectory