Convento de São Francisco, located in Coimbra, was founded in the beginning of the 16th century. Throughout its long history it was an hospital, a military headquarter and also a textile factory. Nowadays it is a pivotal cultural and congress center of Center of Portugal.
In July 1986, the building was acquired by Coimbra City Council. After several years without permanent occupation and with occasional events, mainly in the artistic field, the renovation works of the former Convent of São Francisco began in October 2010.
Designed by the architect João Luís Carrilho da Graça, the project carried out by the City Council of Coimbra, with EU funding, restored the convent, giving it a contemporary dynamic, while maintaining the original architecture, and also included the construction from scratch of an auditorium with capacity for 1125 seats. In 2015, Gonçalo Byrne started the renovation work of the former church of the Convent of São Francisco.
Reopened in 2016, Convento de São Francisco is in the present day a cultural, a congress and a welcome centre. The starting point for discovering the uniqueness of Coimbra, the city of knowledge.