Remember that beautiful convent in the heart of Lisbon that I showed you last month?
Thanks to the magic of airbnb (aka the possibility of renting places you would never be able to inhabit in real, reasonable life) we got to spend a few nights in one of the apartments of the now renovated convent.
This place was really something special, with the blue azulejos everywhere, the ultra high vaulted ceilings and the all-white walls. You could still feel the austerity of the building’s original vocation. I don’t believe this would make for a comfortable home but it was surely an interesting experience! Even the acoustic of the place was kind of supernatural, it was unbelievably silent most of the time, yet the faintest sound seem to echo endlessly in the vast corridors of the building.
The stairs are definitely the star of the apartment. They are completely out of proportion, making the going to the second floor a true ascent, and I mean that in an almost spiritual sense! The idea of having, inside an apartment, centuries old stone steps that have been polished and used by millions of coming and going is pretty unreal. This reminded me of visiting churches as the child, touching the columns and wondering how in hell could stone became this smooth, almost warm material.
The decor inside is pretty discreet, the focus is definitely on the building itself, yet there are a few nice things here and there, and when the afternoon sun gets through the high windows it’s suddenly very theatrical.
The first floor is a little less dramatic but also a bit more homey. There is a bathroom, a bedroom and a little salon up there as well as a small balcony we used for breakfast. The only downside is to bring everything up those stairs, but you know, if the monks did it for a lifetime (the climb, not the balcony breakfast) we might gather the strength to do it for a weekend!
_________________ Convento dos Inglesinhos, Rua São Boaventura (yes, that’s right in the center of the Bairro Alto, not my favourite neighboorhood but it is pretty central though) The place goes back to the 17th century and was renovated in 2008. The apartment on airbnb.