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Founded in 1131 outside the protecting walls of Coimbra, it was the most important monastic house of the Portuguese monarchy. Dedicated to the Order of St. Augustine, the Monastery was granted numerous papal privileges and royal grants, which allowed the accumulation of a considerable patrimony, at the same time as it consolidated its position on the politico-institutional and cultural scene. Its school was essential on medieval times and also a meeting point for the intellectual and power elites. Its scriptorium was responsible for the propaganda machine of King Afonso Henriques, being not strange at all his decision to be buried exactly in Santa Cruz of Coimbra.

The single nave leads to the main chapel containing the tombs of the first two kings of Portugal, Afonso Henriques and Sancho I.

Nothing remains of the early Romanesque Monastery. It is known that it had only one nave and a high tower in the façade, as typical of the Augustine-Romanesque constructions, but none of those elements subsisted. In the first half of the 16th century, the Monastery was completely reformed by King Manuel's order, this monarch having assumed the Monastery tutelage.

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Additional Photos by manuel matos (efigesta) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1958 W: 73 N: 2483] (12188)
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