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Old Monestary of Santa Clara, Coimbra

4.4
#4 of 22 in Historic Sites in Coimbra
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
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Inundated and hidden by centuries of floods, Old Monestary of Santa Clara 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. Old Monestary of Santa Clara is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our , custom trip planner Edition.
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Old Monestary of Santa Clara reviews

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4.4
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  • We were able to sneak in here briefly as there was a wedding to take place, but what we saw was lovely. Part of the university area. 
    We were able to sneak in here briefly as there was a wedding to take place, but what we saw was lovely. Part of the university area.  more »
  • This is definitely worth a visit... you can walk around the outside and see the Mosteiro building, but it is worth it to go into the site and museum to learn more about the history and get a closer... 
    This is definitely worth a visit... you can walk around the outside and see the Mosteiro building, but it is worth it to go into the site and museum to learn more about the history and get a closer...  more »
Google
  • Museum allows access to a walkway where you can view the ruins of the monastery but it doesn't allow you to come inside of it. Entrance is a bit tricky to find too - you have to go around the whole area before getting to it. There's an exhibit you can also view and a documentary that we didn't get to watch since the wait time is too long. I recommend skipping it if you don't have a lot of time visiting Coimbra.
  • The expanse of space at Monteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha is a feast for the eyes. The structure of the 13th Century Monastery is impressive. When we entered through the parking lot, we were greeted by stone walls. We walked to the entrance and was greeted by the massive monastic structure. Entrance is €4 per person. The 15 minutes video on the life of the nuns is in Portuguese with English subtitles. There is a Cafe serving expresso or Americano coffee with some pastries with both internal and external seating options to admire the Monastery from a distance. At 41°C minus the humidity, we were not tempted to walk the length of the field to the Monastery. It was hot, really hot.

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