Coimbra, Mosteiro de Santa Cruz

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Take a tour in Coimbra

The Santa Cruz Monastery, (English: Monastery of the Holy Cross, Portuguese: Mosteiro de Santa Cruz), best known as Igreja (Church) de Santa Cruz is a National Monument in Coimbra, Portugal. Because the first two kings of Portugal are buried in the church it was granted the status of National Pantheon. Founded in 1131 outside the protecting walls of Coimbra, the Santa Cruz Monastery was the most important monastic house during the early days of the Portuguese monarchy. St. Theotonius founded this community of canons regular and served as their first prior. The monastery and church were erected between 1132 and 1223. The monastery was granted numerous papal privileges and royal grants, which allowed the accumulation of considerable wealth, at the same time as it consolidated its position on the politico-institutional and cultural scene. Its school, with its vast library, was highly respected in medieval times and was a meeting point for the intellectual and power elites. Its scriptorium was used for the consolidation of royal power by King Afonso Henriques, thus it was not considered strange that he decided to be buried there.

Nothing remains of the early Romanesque monastery. It is known that it had only one nave and a high tower in the façade, as typical of the Augustinian-Romanesque constructions, but none of those elements subsisted. In the first half of the 16th century, the Monastery was completely renovated by King Manuel's order, this monarch having assumed the Monastery tutelage.

The whole monastic complex, the church and the tombs of King Afonso Henriques and of his successor, King Sancho I, were rearranged and transferred to the main-chapel in 1530, where they still lie in a sculptural work by Nicolau Chanterene. The architect Diogo Boitac was responsible for the layout of the Manueline church and the Chapter house with its basket-handled and ribbed ceilings. Marco Pires gave continuity to the work, with the completion of the church, the Capela de São Miguel (St. Michael's Chapel) and the Claustro do Silêncio (Cloister of Silence). The main portal, built between 1522 and 1525 under Chanterene, is the most emblematic piece of the whole monastic ensemble, harmonising the artistic elements of the Manueline with other features from Renaissance inspiration.

Through the whole 16th century, worked at Santa Cruz de Coimbra the most respected architects, sculptors and painters, such as Diogo de Castilho, Machim and Jean of Rouen, Cristóvão de Figueiredo and Vasco Fernandes besides the already mentioned Chanterene, Boytac and Diogo Pires the Younger. The sacristy dates back to the 17th century and keeps some notable 16th century canvases.

Saint Anthony of Lisbon was a member of the community of canons regular, and after his ordination, he was placed in charge of hospitality for the monastery. It was in this capacity that he welcomed the remains of the Franciscan protomartyrs, whose remains were being transported back to Assisi, after their deaths in Morocco. This led to his decision to leave the security and ease of the life of a canon for that of the newly founded Franciscans.

(from Wikipedia)

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Comments (180)

Buts Yuri on April 5, 2014

Beautiful building and very nice shot! LIKE-117! Greetings from Ukraine! Yuri.

Christos Theodorou on April 6, 2014

Buts Yuri - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

Auggie on April 7, 2014

Big like from cold Canada! Auggie

Christos Theodorou on April 8, 2014

Auggie - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

jose fernandez on July 1, 2014

Very beautiful shot LIKE

Christos Theodorou on July 1, 2014

ELMUNT - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

dalcio e marilda ber… on July 11, 2014

Uma bela arquitetura e um belo registro. Felicidades e abraços para Athens.

Christos Theodorou on July 11, 2014

dalcio e marilda beregula araujo - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

Dirk V on August 1, 2014

Beautiful Picture!

☆︎☆ LIKE ☆☆︎

Friendly greetings from Belgium, Dirk

Christos Theodorou on August 4, 2014

Dirk V - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

Javeed Iqbal on August 18, 2014

Very nice shot, beautiful architecture.

Christos Theodorou on August 18, 2014

Javeed Iqbal - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

Christos Theodorou on October 4, 2014


Many thanks for your visit and comments – Kind greetings from Athens - Christos

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Είναι τόσο απλό : Θέλετε το Panoramio να επιβιώσει ? Υπογράψτε την αίτηση και διαδώστε τον σύνδεσμο αυτό. Χρειαζόμαστε 10.000 υπογραφές !

dziwnowik on October 28, 2014
Christos Theodorou on October 28, 2014

dziwnowik - Many thanks for your visit and comments – Best regards from Athens

Sergey Brandys on January 29, 2015

Hi, Christos. Beautiful view. Wonderful shot. Like122. Best regards, Sergey.

Christos Theodorou on January 29, 2015

Sergey Brandys - Many thanks for your visit and comment – Best regards from Athens

Christos Theodorou on June 27, 2015


Many thanks for your visit and comments – Greetings from Athens - Christos

Ramil Rzayev on September 22

Beautiful shot! LK&FV! Best greetings from Baku, Ramil!

Christos Theodorou on September 22

Ramil Rzayev - Many thanks for your visit and comment – Best regards from Athens

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 13, 2014
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Christos Theodorou
    • Camera: SONY DSLR-A350
    • Taken on 2013/08/26 13:45:17
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/7.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash