Former Lisbon Metropolitan Command and Ministry of the Interior
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Founded in 1217, right in the middle of the Chiado neighbourhood, the Convent of São Francisco has undergone several extensions and reconstructions over the centuries, having functioned as an inn, a hospital and a library. Throughout the 19th century, different entities occupied the space: Lisbon’s Civil Government, in 1835; the Academy of Fine Arts, in 1836; the National Museum of Contemporary Art – Museu do Chiado (MNAC), in 1862; and PSP’s Metropolitan Command, in 1867. The latter occupied an area of the convent that has suffered several improvements over the years, though keeping the jail, which has a sinister history dating back to Estado Novo’s dictatorship. The main stairway, from 1907, bears tiles authored by Alves de Sá, completed in 1932. Recently, with the departure of the Ministry of the Interior and PSP’s Command, this area of the old convent was attributed to MNAC, allowing for the extension of its museum space, inaugurated in 2015.
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