Monastery of Santa Maria de Cegonha (PT) – Ruin of an abandoned monastery in the center of Portugal

The monastery of Santa Maria de Cegonha was built around 1162 and was hosted until 1834 as a center for philosophical studies of the Cistercian Order.

After the extinction of the last monk, a very uncertain future began for this important monument. The pots and altars were removed and housed in other churches in the region. The monastery was sold and the new owners transformed the building into a plant for processing rice. Nowadays we see a monument and an old industrial site in ruins.
The monastery, ever home of monks and brothers, is now exclusively housing different families of storks. In the towers are growing shrubs and olive trees and there are strategically placed nests. Today, the silence is only interrupted by the free flight storks and from time to time through the passage of trains.