Vila Fernando, in the municipality of Elvas, had a development strongly marked by the presence of a detention facility for juvenile delinquents, the Correctional Colony of Vila Fernando, which came into operation in 1895. The design of the built ensemble (with neo-gothic characteristics) is authored by Eng. Mendes Guerreiro.
The boarding school intended to educate troubled young people from all over the country through agricultural work and pecuniary breeding, based on models of central European institutions.
Many of the inhabitants were employees of the colony and some of them lived in its facilities, becoming the largest employer in the region. The colony also had numerous services and infrastructures available to the general population, as well as community open events, such as football games, theater or mass.
At the beginning of the 20th century the existing buildings corresponded to the residences (of the director, deputy director, doctor, senior officials, agricultural conductor and porter), the police station, prison, clock tower, pavilions and refectory (for the three settler divisions), service support, hospital (with anthropometric post), workshops and classrooms with secretarial support.
In 1963 the building was completely refurbished, new buildings were built and others were upgraded, and in the following years, the streets were upgraded and the sewage system was constructed.
From the 70s / 80s of the last century, with the changes in the laws of minors, the colony was receiving less young people and the organization and operation were transformed, becoming an Educational Center. It ended in 2007 and the property has since been unused.