Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery

Visitor's Guide


A statue of Queen St. Isabel stands by the entrance to the monastery

The “new” (“Nova”) Santa Clara monastery was completed in 1696, after the old monastery (Santa Clara-a-Velha) by the river constantly suffered from flooding and it was decided that it was no longer safe for the nuns to live there. It’s located at the top of a hill nearby, so flooding was no longer a problem. It didn’t recreate the Gothic architecture of the original, and instead followed the baroque of the time.


The golden church of the monastery

Its church is a magnificent display of gold-covered altarpieces, with the one on the chancel containing the silver and crystal urn of Queen Saint Isabel. Her first tomb, from 1330 and which was brought from the old monastery, is considered a unique example of Gothic art and was placed in the church’s choir.


The monastery's neoclassical cloister

A cloister was added in 1733, and is one of the earliest examples of the neoclassical style in Portugal.
The terrace outside, which has a statue of Queen Saint Isabel, offers one of the best panoramic views of Coimbra.

How to Get to Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery

To get there, walk across Santa Clara Bridge from the center of town, past the Portugal dos Pequenitos park, and go up Calçada de Santa Isabel next to São Francisco Convent.

Alto de Santa Clara

Admission and Tickets to Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery

Admission is €2.

Opens every day