History of the Convent
The Convent of Santo Antonio was founded in 1634 by Frei Jerónimo de Jesus and Frey Cristobal de San José. The construction started in July 1635. The convent belonged to the Order of Franciscan monks of the Province of St. Antonio, had a beautiful church, cloister, workshops and a well-stocked library.
The monks of the Convent lived from money obtained from preaching and sermons made in the parishes of Serta, also donations from various benefactors including the Grand Priory of Crato which gave a major grant for sustenance.
The friars of this Convent played a key role in the education of many young people in the municipality. In 1772 Latin lessons were given inside the building and, seven years later, Queen D. Maria founded a "school for reading, writing and arithmetic" here.
With the extinction of the religious orders in 1834, the convent was secularized and given to Carlos António Mascarenhas Pimenta as his remuneration for services as Civil Governor of Santarém. The Convent was later inherited by Simão José Mascarenhas, Romao Luis de Mascarenhas and finally, Maria Clementina Relvas), who lived here in the years 1891 and 1892. (Sister of the known José Relvas, famous in Portugal for his role in the creation of Republic in 1910).
In the 1920s, the building was purchased by the Town of Serta. It became the headquarters of the local police (GNR), and a holding jail. It later became a Primary School.
In 2013 this space was converted into the Convent of Serta Hotel.