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University's Tower

The Tower is the image brand of the University and the city of Coimbra. Designed by the Italian architect Antonio Cannevari, it was built between 1728 and 1733, replacing the old 16th century tower Jean de Rouen erected (1561).

Its distinct shape results from one of the original purposes - to serve as an astronomical observation site, hence the “roofless” top, uncommon in other similar towers around the world. With 34 meters in height it dominates the landscape around her.

The University’s daily life has always been regulated by the bells of the tower, the oldest being from 1561. By tradition the bells always went 15 minutes behind the other clock towers of the city, in order not to confuse the inhabitants and students regarding their daily obligations and duties.

Link: http://visit.uc.pt/en/tower/

 

Baroque Library (known as Joanina Library)

Built between 1717 and 1728, it is one of the exponents of the Baroque Portuguese and one of the richest European libraries. Will be known as Baroque Library in honor and memory of King John V (1707-1750), who sponsored its construction and whose portrait, made by Domenico Duprà (1725), dominates the space.

It consists of three floors: the Noble floor, richly decorated space, the most emblematic face of the House of the Library; Intermediate Floor, workplace and acted as the guard house; the Academic Prison, which worked here from 1773 until 1834.

The Noble Floor, completed in 1728, began receiving the first books after 1750, and currently its collection comprises some 40,000 volumes. The entire construction is aimed at conservation of library collections, from the width of the outer walls to the use of wood inside. Also to in aid the conservation of books, there are two small colonies of bats that for centuries protected them from insects.

Link: http://visit.uc.pt/en/library/

 

Botanic Garden

A visit to the Botanic Garden is like traveling around the planet earth without leaving the city. The plant collections which occupy every corner of the Garden take us on a journey to distinct latitudes and regions of the world, thus transforming the Garden into a living museum.

Located in the heart of the city of Coimbra since 1772, when it was founded by the then prime-minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (Marquis of Pombal), the Botanic Garden covers a total area of more than 13 ha, most of which donated by Benedict monks.

The Garden provides a peaceful and inviting atmosphere, filled with secret corners ready to be discovered.

Link: https://www.uc.pt/en/jardimbotanico/visit

 

Machado de Castro National Museum

The National Museum Machado de Castro (Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro) is an art museum in Coimbra, Portugal, named after the Portuguese sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro. It first opened in 1913 and its latest renovation (2004-2012), which included the addition of a new building, was awarded the Piranesi/Prix de Rome Prize 2014.

The bulk of the museum's collection is made up of items from churches and religious institutions in the area surrounding Coimbra. The collections of sculpture (the most extensive of all the national museums of Portugal), painting, precious metals, ceramics and textiles are especially noteworthy.

Link: http://www.museumachadocastro.gov.pt/en-GB/default.aspx

 

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha

The Mosteiro de Santa Clara was built in 1314 at the orders of the Queen Saint Isabel of Aragon, replacing a small convent of nuns of the Order of St. Clare, founded in 1286. The building was completed in 1330, having been designed by the architect Domingos Domingues, who had previously worked on the Mosteiro de Alcobaça.

The convent offers its visitors a spacious outdoor leisure area in a tour that includes the church and the restored archaeological structures. At the Visitor Centre, besides the exhibition of the objects that were found here, laid out in accordance with their importance in the life of the convent, audiovisual media are used to present the history of the site and its restoration.

Link: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/NR/exeres/82299E27-0592-4C65-A961-22EFCE491C86

 

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova

The Monastery of Santa Clara a Nova was built in 1649 on the left bank of the River Mondego, intended to provide shelter to the Clarissa nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara a Nova, following the plans drawn up by the chief Royal engineer and Professor at the University of Coimbra, Friar João Torriano.

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 Santa Isabel, by Teixeira Lopes (19th-century).

The baroque gilded woodwork should also be noted, together with 18th-century paintings that allude to the life of the Holy Queen.

Link: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/NR/exeres/4C566049-4D70-41A5-A5DB-9CD2E523D124