The monastery lies in a green valley, and dates back to the first Christian re-conquest of Coimbra in 878 AD. There are still remnants of medieval architectural elements, such as the Romanesque capitals in the cloister chapels.
In the 10th century, its status and size were already important, having been the subject of significant renovation and enlargement during the reign of King Afonso Henriques. In 1206 the monastery became a female Cistercian convent, with substantial renovation on the orders of the Infanta Beata Teresa of Portugal, daughter of King Sancho I and Queen of León, through her marriage to D. Afonso IX of León. In the 16th century, the cloister underwent renovations in the Renaissance style and, later, the entire building was subjected to important and continuous work of a baroque character, that gave it its current majestic appearance.
In the 20th century, the entire construction was redesigned as a psychiatric hospital, and the Iberian organ, a unique double-sided model of unusual dimensions and sonority as a musical instrument, was retained and reinaugurated.
The entire property, with the exception of the church and the area that belongs to it, is for tourist use