Sé Nova de Coimbra

Sé Nova de Coimbra


The first Jesuit college.

The College of Eleven Thousand Virgins was built in 1598 near the University of Coimbra by the Company of Jesus, which had been in the city since 1541. Work progressed slowly and the church was only inaugurated in 1698. The Jesuits occupied the site until 1759, the year in which the Company was terminated by the Marquis of Pombal and in 1772 the Episcopal See was transferred from the Church of Santa Maria (the Old Cathedral in Romanesque style) to this rather spacious building.

The facade of the New Cathedral follows Jesuit architectural canons, having a sober and austere appearance. Inside the nave, the transept and the main chapel are decorated with magnificent gilded altarpieces, built between the 17th and 18th centuries. In the side chapels, there are several altars in baroque style, on the right side dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows, to St. Thomas of Vilanova and to the Blessed Sacrament; and to Saint Anthony, to the Resurrection and to St. Ignatius, on the left. 

The main altarpiece consists of several niches where the images of the Jesuit saints Inácio de Loyola, Francisco de Borja, Francisco Xavier and Estanislau Kostka are preserved, and a large screen representing the Nativity scene. The main chapel’s chancel, ordered by the Bishop D. João de Melo in the 17th century, is made from exotic woods and comes from the Old Cathedral, as does the carved Gothic-Manueline baptismal font, located in the chapel to the left of the entrance.


Largo Feira dos Estudantes 
3000-213 Coimbra
+351 239 823 138

Monday to Saturday: 9.00-18.30;
Sunday: 10.00-12.30.

Accessible route to the entrance:
  • Partial
Accessible circulation inside:
  • Total
Accessible areas/services:
  • Toilets

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