Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha, Coimbra

4.5
#3 of 17 in Historic Sites in Coimbra
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. Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Coimbra Edition.
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Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha Reviews
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  • If you are interested in church architecture this place could interest you, as it has the graves of the first kings of Portugal and nice elements from several architectural periods.  more »
  • We loved the visit to this former convent. Children under 12 years are free. First access to a Museum and then move on to see the convent. The route through the interior of the convent and the remains in the open air is very interesting. And you feel these reviving part of the story. I recommend this alive.
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  • We did a tour of the monastery. We went on tour with an appointment to go in and out, it was worth it as experience
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  • The monastery of Santa Clara in Coimbra, popularly known as convent of Santa Clara-a-Velha, located on the left bank of the Mondego River, parish of Santa Clara, the city, County and district of Coimbra, in Portugal. Represents a time of experimentation of the Gothic style in the country. To your Foundation, at the end of the 13th century, is in a situation of gradual influence and acceptance of the order of Friars Minor at Court and in society in General. The Royal architect responsible for the works was the master Domingos Domingues, who worked also in the cloister of the monastery of Alcobaça. Having died in 1325, was replaced by master Stephen Domingues. Is under the guidance of this that conclude the works of the Church and starts the construction of the cloisters of the monastery of Santa Clara, between 1326 and 1327. The cloisters were supplied by a water pipe from the Quinta do Pombal (Quinta das Lágrimas). Having Dinis of Portugal died in 1325, shortly after your death, d. Isabel retreated to the monastery, taking the habit of the Poor Clares but do not hope, that allowed him to maintain your fortune, to charity. Did your last will and Testament in 1328, him having left expresses your desire to be buried in the monastery, bequeathing assets and resources for the construction of a chapel, to the building of the convent, and the keeping of the Housewives. Died in Estremoz, on 4 July 1336. The life of the monastery was marked over the centuries by successive floods caused by floods of the Mondego, the first of which already in 1331, a year after the consecration of the temple, which announced a difficult coexistence with the waters. The solution found for centuries was the successive heightening of the ground floor until, in the 17th century the nuns were forced to build an upper floor along the temple and to vacate the bottom, what happened also in other premises of the monastery. However, the deterioration of living conditions led to the construction, on the initiative of King John IV of Portugal, a new building in nearby Mount hope-the monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova. Abandoned by the religious community definitely in 1677, the monastery became known as Santa Clara-a-Velha. After the abandonment, the monastery and your surroundings have given way to a farm, passing the top of the convent being used as housing, haystack and corrals. In the early 20th century, it was classified as National Monument by Decree of 16 June 1910, and subject to extensive campaign of restoration at the initiative of the DGEMN from the 1930. Still, the set continued to be a victim of the waters of the river. In this vacant space, immersed in sediments that only left visible the upper part of the Church, created an image of yellow ruin of romanticism, which remained until the 1990. In 1991 has started an ambitious project of restoration and enhancement of your site, with a budget of 7.5 million Euros, under the coordination of the Archaeologist Arthur Côrte-Real. The archaeological campaign was extended between 1995 and 2000, putting the discovered the lower part of the Church and the cloister, allowing collect a significant estate, material testimony of the past conventual. Determined to maintain the perimeter dry excavated (1977), was built a curtain of peripheral water containment, a first step towards the rehabilitation of the site. Got even included an important area of archaeological reserve, comprising the second cloister and adjoining facilities, dormitory and cafeteria, to be searched in the future.
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  • The monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha or as it is usually known as convent of Santa Clara-a-Velha is a place not to be missed in the city of Coimbra. Contributes to the knowledge of our vast history. At the entrance you can see some parts of the recovery time and stay that way with an idea of what it was like to live in that time. Great place for kids because they have so much to do that I don't get bored. Don't evaluate in 5 stars because the monastery could be more clean, there was a lot of dirt from the doves on the floor, also because the elevator access to upper floor outside wasn't working, for those who take children it helped not having to walk far to get back to the point of break of the. I advise you to visit and as I fortunate enough to go on the first Sunday of the month, do not pay anything.
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  • Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha to "tell us" of our history that, no matter what has to be preserved regardless of the constraints of the Mondego River. This, the most valuable Heritage of our country deserves political power look at him with eyes to see walked with patches from the 15TH century and we still don't get a definitive solution. This heritage deserves it.
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  • Shore to shore of the River Mondego, and also more trendy circuit of visits to Chen, despite your proximity to Portugal of the little ones. Has a narrower visitation schedule, should notify the same to plan the visit.
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  • For those who like history and architecture is an interesting visit.
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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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