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.
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
|Names:||Church of St. John the Evangelist · Convento dos Lóios · São João Evangelista|
|Dedication:||St. John the Evangelist|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||38.572893° N, 7.906959° W|
|Address:||Largo do Conde de Vila Flor|
|Hours:||Tues-Sun 10am-noon and 2-6pm|
|Lodging:||View hotels near São João Evangelista|
- Frommer's Portugal, 19th edition
- Rough Guide to Portugal, 12th edition
- Pousada Lóios, Évora - Virtual Portugal
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.