São João Evangelista, Evora

Standing opposite the Temple of Diana in Évora, the Gothic-Mudejar São João Evangelista (St. John the Evangelist) was the church of a 15th-century convent. There are many interesting things to see inside.

advertisement

History of São João Evangelista

Lóios Convent was founded in 1485 by Count Rodrigo Melo on orders of King João II. It was constructed over the ruins of Evora's Arabian castle, which was mostly destroyed by fire in the revolution of 1383-85 that led to João II becoming king.

In 1755, Evora suffered a major earthquake that destroyed most of the Convento dos Lóios; it was reconstructed by the Priest Mestre José de Santa Marta. In 1834, the monastery was closed along with all others in Portugal by royal order. Finally, after extensive renovations, the monastery reopened as a pousada (historic hotel) in 1965.

What to See at São João Evangelista

The church is the private property of the Duques de Cadaval, who still occupy a section of their palace next door. The facade is a large porch-tower, painted white with bright yellow accents. Entrance is through a large Gothic portal under the tower.

Inside, the greatest attraction is a floor-to-ceiling collection of blue azulejos by António Oliveira Bernardes (early 1700s), which depict scenes from the life of São Lourenço Justiniano, founder of the Lóios order.

In the middle of the church among the pews, trapdoors open to reveal a Moorish cistern and an ossuary full of bones from tombs in the vicinity. Among the more interesting paintings adorning the church are a violent scene of Africans slaughtering a Christian missionary and a pope with moving eyes and feet.

Quick Facts on São João Evangelista

Site Information
Names:Church of St. John the Evangelist · Convento dos Lóios · São João Evangelista
Country:Portugal
Categories:churches; monasteries
Styles:Gothic; Mudejar
Dedication: St. John the Evangelist
Dates:1485
Status: privately owned
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:38.572893° N, 7.906959° W
Address:Largo do Conde de Vila Flor
Evora, Portugal
Phone:26/670-47-14
Hours:Tues-Sun 10am-noon and 2-6pm
Lodging:View hotels near São João Evangelista
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Frommer's Portugal, 19th edition
  2. Rough Guide to Portugal, 12th edition
  3. Pousada Lóios, Évora - Virtual Portugal

More Information

© Vitor Oliveira
© Chuck Burgess
© Alexandre Nakonechnyj

Map of São João Evangelista, Evora

Below is a location map and aerial view of São João Evangelista. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.