A tour of Coimbra’s churches

Monastery © geograph.org.uk

Churches are always a great point of attraction for the tourists, no matter if they are orthodoxes, catholics or protestants. The tourists and people in general are attracted by the beauty of their architecture or by their historical importance. There are many lovely churches and cathedrals in Coimbrathat must be visited. The architecture of the buildings include the most beautiful styles, such as Rococo, Renaissance or Baroque, and inside you can see many works of art, like sculptures and paintings made by famous European artists. In order to convince you of their beauty let’s see a tour of Coimbra‘s churches: 

1.Santa Cruz Monastery

The Monastery of Santa Cruz is a Portugal National Monument, because it contains many tombs of the kings of Portugal. Many artists and architects of the 16th century worked on this monastery. Firstly, the building represented the Romanesque style, but later it was destroyed and reconstructed. Besides the beautiful sculptural work on the tombs of the kings you will be impressed by the portal. The Monastery of Santa Cruz is situated near the square Praca 8 de Maio.

2. Old Cathedral of Coimbra

Chatedral © geograph.org.uk

The Old Cathedral of Coimbra (Se Velha in Portuguese) is one of the most important Romanesque Roman Catholic churches in Portugal. It is a Medieval cathedral built in a Gothic style, which dates back to the 12th century. Firstly, the church was a fortress on top of an old Moorish mosque and the building looks much the same after 700 hundred years. The Old Cathedral will impress you just by seeing it. Its exterior is symmetrical, with narrow window-slits and a “Porta Especiosa” (a beautiful door). This door has an Islamic influence and it is created in the Renaissance style. Inside the church you can see among other interesting things the works of the sculptors Olivier de Gand and Jean d’Ypres. Also, the cathedral, which is unique by its architecture, contains a biblical garden and the oldest Portuguese Gothic magic cloisters.

3. New Cathedral of Coimbra

The New Cathedral of Coimbra (Se Nova in Portuguese) dates back to 1541 and it was a Jesuit college. Once arrived here you will see statues of saints at the facade of the building, many decorations in the Baroque and Mannerist style or bell towers. Inside the church there are beautiful altarpieces from the 17th and 18th centuries. This cathedral is situated near the University of Coimbra, in the upper part of the town.

I have shown you only a part of A tour of Coimbra’s churches. If you want to find out more follow my posts.

For further information you can access www.turismodecoimbra.pt 

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