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Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova

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Address: Calcada de Santa Isabel | Alto de Sta. Clara, Coimbra 3040-270, Portugal
Phone Number: +351 239 441 674
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

After the canonization of Saint Isabel in 1625, the Monastery of Santa...

After the canonization of Saint Isabel in 1625, the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova was started to be built, by order of king João IV, in 1649 on the left bank of the River Mondego, intended to provide shelter to the Clarissa nuns of the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha, following the plans drawn up by the chief Royal engineer and Professor at the University of Coimbra, Friar João Torriano. In 1677, in a great procession from the former Monastery, Queen Santa Isabel's remains were moved and placed in a silver tomb in the high altar. The church was designed by the architect, Mateus do Couto. In the large apse at the top of the church, there is a polychrome statue of Saint Isabel, by Teixeira Lopes (19th-century). The baroque gilded woodwork should also be noted, together with 18th-century paintings that allude to the lives of franciscain saints. The fine original Gothic tomb of the Holy Queen is exposed in the choir, together with the carved woodwork altar pieces from Santa Clara a Velha, and mannerist paintings. Next to the church and the choir, the second largest cloister of Portugal is worth a visit.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Eerily Empty, Yet Strikingly Beautiful

Located high up a steep street leading away from the Rio Mondego, this massive monastery doesn't look like much from the outside. Peeling paint and the attached building (once... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 23, 2016
Delray Beach, Florida

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130 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 13: English reviews
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
309 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2016

While in Coimbra we thought we would visit this monastery so we walked up from our hotel. From the outside it looked quite nice so we proceeded in to the ticket office/shop. We paid 6.80 euros and then were asked to pay an additional 10 euros for a guide. We were told to enter the main church where the guide... More 

Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
831 reviews
512 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 459 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2016

Located high up a steep street leading away from the Rio Mondego, this massive monastery doesn't look like much from the outside. Peeling paint and the attached building (once part of the monastery) has many broken/missing windows giving the place a feeling of neglect/abandonment. Inside, there is a small reception area and gift shop. I purchased a ticket to visit... More 

Thank backpacker31
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2015

We arrived in Coinbra late on a Sunday afternoon and wanted something to pass the late afternoon before dinner. It was quite a long steep walk up the hill but the views across the city were glorious. The chapel and cloisters are cheap to enter and lovely to look around, there is not much to see, but if you appreciate... More 

3 Thank Andrew W
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015

Up a very steep hill across the river, passing the first convent that was abandoned due to flooding. The facilityis very interesting if you take tour. We paid 10 for 2 people including 10 total for the tour for however many people you have. It was very interesting for a religious or non religious person to understand their adulation for... More 

1 Thank Virginatraveler
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
590 reviews
226 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2015

Wonderful visit. Altar and the tomb of santa isabel. The old tomg af the same saint and other ancient sculptures to be visited, breathtaking cloisters. Not to miss

1 Thank carlosmp
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
117 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

The Santa Clara Monastery was covered in sacking and scaffolding as there are huge renovations going on. Disappointing but understandable.

Thank teroti
San Diego
Level Contributor
108 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

A very small site but extremely interesting history for the area. Be sure to take the tour and climb the bell tower for the best view of Coimbra.

Thank SanDiegoWayne
Madeira, Portugal
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

Author Victor Paul Scerri and my interview with the sister of Santa Clara In awe toured into no less than paradise unfolding 16 century history and exploring and gardens of pure bliss. Nothing can prepare one for the magic this place has to offer. Shared with passion http://www.nicewriters.com

Thank WhereisMadeira
Level Contributor
81 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Much of this complex served until recently as an army barracks. Now available to the visitor is the entrance courtyard, the enormous baroque cloisters and the magnificent interior of the church. Queen Isabel´s solid silver tomb is on display and a series of panels shows how her tomb was moved from Santa Clara-a-Velha to its new location. For the visitor... More 

2 Thank lynne b
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
47 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

It was a cloudy day when we arrived in Coimbra. So, we explored the opposite side of main town, Coimbra. A few bridges connect both sides. We picked the most striking and colorful one and seagulls always rest for a while. Most people came to this side to see the old monastery. But we first headed to the new one.... More 

1 Thank Meyan Y

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