Igreja de Santiago - Coimbra

Igreja de Santiago - Coimbra


Documents say that this church was consecrated in the year 1206, but there is a tradition that places its foundation in the time of Fernando I, king of León, who, on recapturing Coimbra from the Moors in 1064, founded a church dedicated to St. James the Apostle on this very site. The date of its rebuilding was probably some time between 1139 and 1183, during the campaign of the Christian Reconquest. Its imposing, robust appearance makes the church a fine example of the Romanesque style of that time.

The interior of the church was redesigned in the 16th century, when a flamboyant Gothic chapel was built on the left-hand side. This is one of the few examples of this style of architecture to be found in the whole of Coimbra.

In the 18th century, the columns dividing the church into three naves were covered with new masonry, which took away their original Romanesque purity. The altarpiece in the chancel is from the same period, decorated in the rococo style with high-quality carved and gilded woodwork and marble-like effects.

It was in this church that Dom Pedro, Duke of Coimbra, and the Count of Avranches vowed not to survive each other in the battle that they were about to wage against Dom Pedro's nephew, the king Dom Afonso V. In fact, they both died on the battlefield, close to the River Alfarrobeira, on 20 May 1449.

Outside, notice the portals, the finest example of the Romanesque style of architecture in Coimbra. The columns, decorated with interesting motifs and fanciful ornamental work, end in ornate capitals with figures and chimeras that express the typical imagery of the Middle Ages.

Praça do Comércio 
3000 Coimbra

Reception area suitable for people with special needs
Accessible circulation inside:
  • Total

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