from the past
Convento do Beato’s history dates back to the 15th century, when Queen Isabel ordered a hermitage to be built. In the 16th century, Friar António da Conceição, later known as Blessed António [Beato António], encouraged the construction of the Convent over the hermitage. The story goes that with just 7 pennies, which they received as alms, they managed to kickstart the construction of the magnificent Convent. The magnificent building became known as ‘Convento do Beato’. Soon after, the entire civil parish where the Convent was built became known as the Civil Parish of Beato.
The materials used in the construction of the Convento do Beato, mainly white marble with hints of red jasper of national origin, not only endow it with a unique character, but also with great durability, as demonstrated after the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.
At the end of the 18th century, one of the wings of the Convent started to be used as a Royal Military Hospital and in 1834, the merchant João de Brito bought part of the buildings, which had been partially destroyed by a large fire in the meantime.
This marked the beginning of the Convent being used for industrial purposes, with the installation of a modern manufacturing unit where a steam engine operated for the first time in Portugal. 15 years later, in 1849, Queen Maria II granted permission for the use of the brand ‘Nacional’ on that company’s products in recognition of the industrialist João de Brito. Due to its magnificent construction, Convento do Beato was classified by IPPAR as Immovable Heritage of Public Interest in 1984 and was initially used for cultural events.
In 1999, the Cerealis Group purchased Nacional and, by default, Convento do Beato. Being aware of the inestimable value that this venue adds to the national events market, it initiated a refurbishing process which led to the venue being recognised as the ‘Best events venue in Portugal’ in 2011 and 2014.
In 2018, due to growing interest from foreign markets and an increasing demand within Lisbon, the Larfa Properties Group acquired the Convento and the surrounding buildings with the aim of implementing an urban project, believing that this will boost the appreciation of this innovative area of the city. Due to Convento do Beato’s national and international recognition, and due to the fact that it is considered by many to be the best Events venue in Europe, the Larfa Properties Group has declared its intention of continuing to invest in Events. For that reason, Convento do Beato is the target of a grand renovation project, where the improvement of its infrastructure allows for the building’s stature and history to be matched with the best conditions for carrying out various types of events.