CONVENTO DE Nª SRA DA VISITAÇÃO
The well-known Quinta do Convento da Visitação (Our Lady of Visitation Convent) keeps the memory of the Islamic gardens of the Al-Garb andalucien, properties of ancient “Almoxarifes” of Óbidos and Alenquer who, in the end of the Xth century come to the Iberian coastal region looking for charming and fresh places where to spend summer time. Vila Verde was considered a domain in 1233, during the reign of the king Sancho I.
Gonçalo de Albuquerque, Gentleman of Vila Verde and father of Alfonso de Albuquerque, (first India Governor), built the first Our Lady of Visitation Convent, that no longer exists. In the beginning of the XVIth Century, a workmanships campaign in the second convent was initiated in which João of Castilho works (at the same time he was projecting the arcades of the Convent in Tomar and Jerónimos in Lisbon) which were concluded in 1540. From this period are still conserved the Capitols Room, the Sacristy, the Church and the Bell’s tower.
Pedro de Noronha (16th Gentleman of Vila Verde and brother of Alfonso de Albuquerque) tomb dates from 1566, is located in the center of the church. Natércia de Ataíde, the perpetual lover of the famous Portuguese writer Luis de Camões and wife of Pedro de Noronha (7th Gentleman of Vila Verde), is buried in the church galley.
The XVII century marble altar is attributed to João Antunes, king Pedro II architect. The church and the main chapel are coated with blue and white tiles from the Joanin and rococo period, being the last possibly ordered to Valentim de Almeida by the convent owner Teresa de Noronha e Bourbon, wife of Marquis of Pombal.