Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova, Coimbra

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Religious Site Tourist Spot
The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova is a monastery in Coimbra, Portugal. It was built to replace the mediaeval Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha, located nearby, which at the time was prone to frequent flooding by the waters of the Mondego river. The monastery was built in the 17th and 18th centuries and is classified as a National Monument. It is located in the Santa Clara parish.The Monastery of Santa Clara of Coimbra was founded in the early 14th century near the river Mondego by Queen Elizabeth of Portugal, wife of King Dinis I. The queen was greatly admired during and after her life for her pious and generous nature, and was canonised in the 17th century.Through the centuries, the church and monastic buildings were repeatedly flooded by the Mondego. In the 17th century, under the rule of King John IV, it was decided that a new monastery was to be built for the religious community. Construction works began in 1649, and the church was finished by 1696. All nuns as well as the Gothic tombs of Queen Elizabeth and other royal princesses were transferred to the new monastery, therefore called "Santa Clara-a-Nova" (Saint Clare-the-New).The project of the monastery was entrusted to Father João Turriano, a benedictine monk and royal engineer, who conceived the ensemble in the simple Mannerist style of 17th-century Portugal. Construction works were led by royal architect Mateus do Couto. The church, consecrated in 1696, is of rectangular floorplan, has a single-aisled nave and lacks a transept. The interior is illuminated by a series of (clerestory) windows located on the second storey of the nave.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The church is located on the hill on the other river’s bank. It’s worth a detour for the panoramic view (for free); you should also enter the church (two euros per person) to admire the Saint Isabel’s...  more »
  • Spend some time and see the patron saint of Portugal. Her remains are in the silver encasement in the church here. The surrounding grounds are beautiful. Lots of space to sit down and relax. Go to the...  more »
  • Check Portugal History on this: it was built as an option to teh Old Maonastery Santa Clara a Velha, enar Quinta das Lagrimas and Portugal dos pequenitos. The old Monastery was constantly flooded by M...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place indeed, both the cloister ruins as the abbey itself. Interesting museum as well. Must see for any one interested in history. Cheap tickets too
  • You will be fascinated by the old monestry building and its history regarding the river and consistent flood. Don't miss the museum filled with rich items found at the ruins.
  • We were really lucky to be accompanied by a local guide who explained each detail about the building, the life in the monastery before the flood and how it was recovered. Perfect!
  • The place is just gorgeous. It was unfortunately built in a flooded zone and was abandoned by the nuns after a few centuries. Grandiose architecture, go tour it, watch the movie.
  • Not amazing but still OK to visit if you find yourself on that side of the river. To find the entrance go all the way around the complex.