Palácio da Justiça (Palace of Justice), Coimbra

Palácio da Justiça (Palace of Justice), Coimbra

The Palácio da Justiça is a historic building located in central Coimbra, presently housing the city's Law Courts.

Originally a Dominican friary and house of formation affiliated with the University of Coimbra, the College of St. Thomas was established in 1538. Its name referred to Dominican saint and Doctor of the Church Thomas Aquinas. Construction began in the 1540s under the rector Fr. Martinho de Ledesma, with plans by Asturian architect Diogo de Castilho. The educational and residential areas of the college were arranged around a central cloister. In the 18th century, the upper floor on the east side was expanded and renovated according to contemporary taste, including the addition of new windows and a balcony to the facade. The building faces onto Rua da Sofia, the street where the colleges of several religious orders came to be concentrated.

After the extinction of religious orders in 1834, the building was incorporated into the National Treasury and used as a warehouse until it was acquired by João Maria Correia Ayres de Campos, 1st Count of Ameal. In 1895, architect Silva Pinto was hired to adapt it to its new residential function using a neoclassical revivalist design, but most of its significant original features, including its cloister, several of its vaulted late-Gothic interiors and its Renaissance-style portico, were maintained. The latter, which included a significant sculpture group in the style of João de Ruão, figured in the Count's bookplate, designed around 1900. Ayres de Campos famously used the complex to display his vast art collection and to house his library, both of which were among the most important in Portugal at the time.

In 1928, the building was bought by the Ministry of Justice and repurposed as the city's courthouse, becoming known colloquially as Palácio da Justiça.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Coimbra. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Palácio da Justiça (Palace of Justice) on Map

Sight Name: Palácio da Justiça (Palace of Justice)
Sight Location: Coimbra, Portugal (See walking tours in Coimbra)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Coimbra, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Coimbra

Create Your Own Walk in Coimbra

Creating your own self-guided walk in Coimbra is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Coimbra Introduction Walking Tour

Coimbra Introduction Walking Tour

The ancient Roman city of Aeminium, by the Mondego River, eventually became the city of Coimbra. The modern Machado de Castro National Museum rests on the remains of a medieval bishop's palace. The palace was supported by an old cryptoporticus and Roman forum. The forum was the seed of the political and religious center of a city always reborn.

For more than 100 years Aeminium was held by...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Historic Buildings Walking Tour

There are many magnificent and old churches in Coimbra. The buildings of the cathedrals and churches represent the most splendid architecture of Europe: Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo. The interior of these churches are very richly ornate by the works of art: paintings of the greatest European artists, sculptures and other art. This self-guided tour will lead you to the beautiful churches and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles