A former convent in southern Portugal has been operating as a brothel for the past year, weekly newspaper Tal e Qual reported yesterday. The Catholic church sold the building in Montemor-o-Novo, a town of manor houses and numerous old convents located some 80km, south of Lisbon, in 1834, the town priest told the paper.
Father Manuel Vieira said the current owners of the hilltop convent turned it into a hotel in 2000 but two years later the establishment, located beside a church which still hold regular services, “changed sectors”. The priest said the owners of the brothel have never bothered the faithful who flock to the neighbouring church. “Those who do not agree with prostitution just have to avoid the location. After all it is just one of six brothels in this town,” he said.
I guess this is poetic licence. In Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet tells Ophelia “Get thee to a nunnery.” A nunnery at that time referred to a house of prostitution and not a convent.