Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha Coimbra Reviews
Stunning monastery Dec 01, 2010
Founded in the thirteenth century for nuns on the banks of the River Mondego, this monastery was dissolved and then re-established by Queen Elizabeth in the fourteenth century. The queen was instrumental in the development of the monastery, and her piety and faith led to her canonisation.
Unfortunately, the waters of the Mondego were an issue and the constant flooding led to the monastery being abandoned in the seventeenth century. It was excavated in the early part of the twentieth century and declared to be a national monument.
The monument is a fascinating and inspiring place to visit. Visitors are encouraged to watch a short ten or fifteen minute documentary which outlines the history of the monastery. A small but extensive exhibition is also laid out, containing rather old relics and artefacts from the monastery and possibly other Portuguese places of worship.
Though the monastery is partly ruined, it is a wonderful place to explore. The arches are sublime, and the windows let in the most beautiful light if you are lucky. Elsewhere, a few tiles on some walls and the non-working fountain outside provide visitors with a glimpse of how amazing this monastery must have been in its prime.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this monastery and I highly recommend visiting it.
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