Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova, Coimbra

4.1
#9 of 15 in Historic Sites in Coimbra
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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Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova Reviews
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  • Built to traferirvi sacred things of the old monastery which is flooded, but the first two statues and sarcophagi preserves King of Portugal and Queen santa Isabel. More the crypt and cloisters. Statues and paintings of great value. Panoramic view from scream. Council to get in the taxi and then walk down to the old monastery and the river.
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  • This monastery is less spectacular than the Santa Clara a Velha but still it is worth to pay him a visit. It has several more or less complete visit options depending on the time and the interest that has everyone. We decided to visit the Church and the cloister (€4). Not they seemed especially shocking, but it is always well see these things for yourself and then decide. The staff is very nice and is not a monument that is saturated with people. We had the good taste to stroll the cloister completely alone and I thought it was a great experience. You can access drive without any problems and parking at the door.
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  • Like all monasteries that exist in Portugal and throughout Europe this place has your special charm and brings pleasant feelings. Worth the visit.
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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.

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Where to stay in Coimbra

Indulge in the medieval splendor of Coimbra by booking a hotel in the city's historical hilltop and hillside central area, which is home to the majority of its hotels and guesthouses. By staying right in the middle of the Old Town, you'll have medieval monasteries, Renaissance homes, and Baroque halls right at your doorstep. You'll also be within walking distance of the city's famed university complex. Alternatively, try staying in one of the center's youth hostels, which offer shared rooms, lockers, breakfast, and a comfortable bed at a fraction of the cost of an upscale hotel. These accommodations also give you a good base from which you can experience the city's student-fueled nightlife. To get away from the mainstream tourist center a bit, opt for a hotel or bed and breakfast in the quieter residential neighborhoods east of the university.
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