Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha, Coimbra

4.5
#3 of 15 in Historic Sites in Coimbra
Architectural Building Historic Site
Inundated and hidden by centuries of floods, Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha now stands as a preserved example of Gothic religious architecture. Constructed during the 1300s, the building succumbed to constant flooding of the Mondego River by the 17th century. Visit the abandoned monastery, which was excavated during the latter half of the 20th century, and you'll be greeted with a near-complete complex restored to viewable condition. Wander through the church on the raised platforms within, and you'll see naves, cloisters, chapels, and courtyards--giving you an idea of how the building appeared when the waters finally swallowed it. Stop by the visitor center for more background information on the founding, construction, and history of the convent, as well as a display of artifacts found at the site. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha by using our Coimbra trip builder.
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7 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Central Portugal & South of Spain BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Spain & Portugal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Lisbon, Coimbra & Porto BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Porto, Coimbra & Lisbon BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Porto, Coimbra & Lisbon BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Portugal BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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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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Google
4.4
  • Located at the end of the river bridge this is a must see. Bring your camera as the angles and light is wonderful. Two levels of lines, sculptures, tiles and the ceiling is to die for. Great!  more »
  • A place of historical importance in Portugal this ancient monastery should be one of the stops to prioritize on your visit in Coimbra. Fascinating and beautiful with much to see.  more »
  • This Monastery is on the other side of the river but it is worth a visit. The Monastery itself is amazing and knowing that it was under water and silt until very recently adds to its magnificent prese...  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.