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“Interesting”

Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha
Ranked #6 of 92 things to do in Coimbra
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2013

You have to admit, those nuns didnt give up easily. For centuries they just kept moving the church floor higher as the water from the river invaded. Finally they departed to the higher new church, leaving the old church to its fate.

Its now an archaelogical site and there is quite a lot to see in the complex, but of course the highlight is the skeleton of the original church. It was pouring when we visited which added to the experience.

Thank Reenby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 73 of 547 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2012

My husband and I ended up here without knowing what it was, and we ended up pleasantly surprised. We didn't find the museum inside very useful, but we read the pamphlet that they lent us that went along with it (you pay 50 cents and they give your money back if you return it). The restored monastery is beautiful and the ruined cloisters in front remind you how old this site is. There are also some good views of Coimbra. I would recommend a quick stop here if you are in the area visiting Conimbriga or driving between Porto and Lisbon.

1  Thank Ruth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We visited on a Sunday morning and by pure chance we found it was free up until 2pm on a Sunday. The receptionist was very friendly and happy to explain how to get the best out of our visit. We paid a 1 euro refundable deposit for an English booklet to help understand the museum and remains. At half past the hour there is a 15 minute film in the auditorium, I would recommend that you start your visit here, it explains so much and has English sub titles throughout. Once you have visited the museum and move outside there are pleasant walkways and a further auditorium where you can see the film about how the flooded Monastery was reclaimed from the waters of the River Mondego. The remains are excellent with good signage and explanations in both English and Portuguese, there is a small disabled lift to allow wheelchair access to the remains. Be aware the whole monastery is in a sheltered spot and will get very hot in the summer months. Once you have concluded your visit there is a really nice monastery restaurant/coffee shop. We spent in total just under 3 hours which included cake and coffee! We then donated our entrance fees to the restoration funds as we had enjoyed the visit so much. Historically and culturally this is an excellent starting point in Coimbra.

1  Thank vinrogue58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha is located at Rua das Parreiras-Santa Clara. The Abbess Doña Mor dias was the person who founded the convent. Queen St. Isabel refounded the convent in 1314. She followed the progress of the work even after the death of her husband King Dinis. She stayed in the palace next to the work. The architects were Domingos Domingues and Estevao Domingues. The church was built in the Gothic style, but the Romanesque influence was still strong. Queen St. Elizabeth died in 1336 and was buried in the monastery in a magnificent Gothic tomb. In 1677 the nuns had to transfer to new Santa Clara-a-Nova because the River Mondego flooded near the convent. The old convent was abandoned when the nuns transferred to the new convent. The old convent fell into ruins as time passed by. It was declared a National Monument in 1910. A new interpretation center was opened in 2009.

2  Thank BennyMalaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

There are the remains of a middle age monastery. There is also a museum very good situated that you need to visit before to understand. There are also a vegetable garden coping a medieval one.

Its a very beautiful visit.

Thank MichelVara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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