pousada de crato

Photos courtesy of Pousada de Crato








In the 14th century, friar Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira ordered the building of a fortified palace-monastery for the Order of Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, later known as the Knights of the Order of Malta. The devastating earthquake of 1775 caused much damage to the structure. Rebuilding took place, but with the dissolution of the religious orders in 1834,the monastery was abandoned to the elements. A rainstorm at the end of the 19th century brought about the collapse of the roof of the church nave.

One of the more colorful characters to occupy the monastery was Antonio, a 16th-century prior of Crato. During a Portuguese dynastic dispute, Antonio laid claim to the throne through his position as grandson of king Manuel I. However, Antonio was illegitimate and didn’t stand a chance. He ruled for only 20 days. He was defeated in battle by the Spanish and later attempted to rule from Terceira Island in the Azores. He later fled to France (carrying the crown jewels) and then to England to try to lend support in defeating the Spanish. He died in near poverty in France.

Pamela’s Perspective

The best rooms are the three suites in the tower. They are the largest and most atmospheric. Tower room 601 has its own terrace with great views.


Pousada do Crato
(Flor da Rosa)

A 14th-century monastery


Mosteiro da Flor da Rosa
7430-999 Crato
Tel: ++351 245 997 210
Fax: ++351 245 997 212
Official pousada website
Reserve with Booking.com

Fast facts

24 rooms, including 3 in tower

Double rooms: 120–228 euros
Suites: 168–313 euros
Rates include breakfast, tax, and service.
Packages available.

Open: all year

Getting there

Crato is 34 km west of Portalegre, which is near the border with Spain. The pousada is 1 km north of Crato.

What to do

On site: swimming pool
Nearby: golf; tennis; falconry shows; horseback riding; fishing; Alter do Chão stud farm famed for its Lusitanian horses.


Off the beaten track, this pousada makes an excellent base for exploring the peaceful rural countryside and medieval hilltop towns of the northern part of the Alentejo region.

Through the reception area, decorated with huge urns filled with plants upon pale stone floors, you’ll find clever ways the ancient building has been incorporated into modern uses. The former refectory, which now houses the bar, has arched windows and beautiful high vaulted ceilings supported by large, twisted stone pillars.

Furniture is contemporary but comfy. A tapestry in the dining room depicts the pine forests that once surrounded the monastery.

You’ll find the guest rooms in either the new or old wings. Rooms in the new wings are spacious, with white-washed walls, wood floors, and wicker chaise lounge chairs. Many have small balconies. Marble bathrooms are fully modernized.

The tower rooms are the largest of all and carry more of a medieval ambiance.

Outside is a pleasant walled garden with cypress and olive trees, and climbing vines.

Something special

curlicueLook for the white storks nesting in the historic bell tower.