Its building was ordered in the XIIIth century by D. Mafalda (Infanta of Portugal) and started housing the St. Clara’s Order in 1272. The edifice suffered changes throughout the XVth and XVIth centuries, and was majorly reconstructed after a fire in April 1809, from which only the chapel and main gate remained. The monastery closed in 1834, as Portugal decreed the end of its religious orders, and was sold in public auction to be converted into a private property – the Casa da Cerca. In 1993 the Casa da Cerca was bought by the municipality to hold the City Library and the Municipal Archive. Nowadays, few elements remain of the original monastery complex.