Sé Velha de Coimbra (Old Cathedral of Coimbra), Coimbra (must see)
Building the cathedral was slow going. The basic structure was not finished until the early 13th century. The cloisters were not begun until 1218. The plans and construction of the cathedral are generally credited to a mysterious Master Robert, a French architect. The works were directly supervised by another mysterious Master Bernard.
The Old Cathedral has the look of a little fortress. It has high crenelated walls with almost no windows. A high tower in the west facade, showing Romanesque and Arabic elements, is reinforced by heavy buttresses at the corners. The north facade has a renaissance portal by sculptor Jean of Rouen.
The capitals of the Romanesque decorations feature stone carvings of birds and four-footed creatures and birds but no human figures. Most of the artisans that worked on the Old Cathedral were mozarabic. They were Christians who had lived and worked in Arab lands. They were not used to human representations, which were banned under Islam.
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.
Sé Velha de Coimbra (Old Cathedral of Coimbra) on Map
Walking Tours in Coimbra, Portugal
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
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