Fodor's Expert Review Mosteiro de São Bento
Just a glimpse of the Monastery of St. Benedict's main altar can fill you with awe. Layer upon layer of curvaceous wood carvings coated in gold lend the space an opulent air, while spiral columns whirl upward to capitals topped by the chubbiest of cherubs and angels that appear lost in divine thought. Although the Benedictine monks arrived in 1586, work didn't begin on this church and monastery until 1617. It was completed in 1641, but artisans including Mestre Valentim (who designed the silver chandeliers) continued to add details almost to the 19th century. Sunday Mass at 10 am is accompanied by Gregorian chants.