The convent was granted by the Government, for 50 years for tourism purposes, to the Society for the Promotion of Tourism and Hotel Projects (SPPTH), under the REVIVE Programme, the office of the Deputy Minister and Economy revealed in a statement.

REVIVE is a joint programme of the Ministries of Economy, Culture and Finance, in collaboration with the municipalities concerned, which provides for the transfer of public to private property to be recovered and used for economic activities.

SPPTH, which is the managing body of the Convento do Espinheiro Historic Hotel & Spa, a five-star unit a few kilometres from Évora, aims to “revive” the Convento do Carmo as a four-star hotel with about 50 rooms.

“The new hotel is scheduled to open in 2022” and, for the recovery of the property, the concessionaire company plans to invest “about six million Euros”, according to the office of the Deputy Minister and Economy.

Built in 1251, the Carmo Convent was the first of the Carmelite Order founded on the Iberian Peninsula.

The property is located in the historic centre of Moura, near the castle and the municipal library, and “the whole property, which includes the church and the cloister of the convent, has been classified as a property of public interest since 1944”.

Within the scope of REVIVE, which, through the enhancement and restoration of unused heritage, aims to reinforce the attractiveness of regional destinations and the development of various regions of the country, a total of 18 competitions have been launched so far in the country according to the Government.

“Currently, tenders are open for the concession of the Lorvão Monastery in Penacova, the Vila Nova de Cerveira Castle and the Ínsua Fort in Caminha.”

The “next tenders” to be launched will include Travanca Monastery (Amarante), Cape Espichel Sanctuary (Sesimbra) and Barra de Aveiro Fort (Ílhavo), the Government added.