About Tower of Santa Cruz (Coimbra) (**) (Demolished)

About Tower of Santa Cruz (Coimbra) (**) (Demolished)

Coimbra is a city that saw throughout the twentieth century its monumental heritage be partially destroyed. The Romanesque tower of Santa Cruz is an example. The tower was part of the defensive about, which included other towers of the vast and important monastery of Santa Cruz, belonging to the order of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine.

Torre Santa Cruz- old coimbra

Torre Santa Cruz

The Tower of Santa Cruz was flanked by the monastery barn, where today is the Police station, right in front stood the infirmary cloister, the central part is Fashion and accessories and Manga (**), and where high school Jaime was a large and important ward.

The tower of Santa Cruz was located where today is the New source or of the Jews and the staircase Montarroio.

Tower of Santa Cruz rubble-Coimbra-cleaning

Tower of Santa Cruz rubble-Coimbra-cleaning


There was already a source with the source name of the Jews in 1137, is positioned adjacent to naturally gives Judiaria. However for a document 1429, It is designated as a new source. As it was important equipment, because without water there is no life, It was renewed in 1725, which resulted in the copy that exists today. However not in its original place. Originally it was at the beginning of the College Street New ascent where was its source. In the nineteenth century it was transported to near the entrance of the Municipal Market. completed in 1986 the staircase Montarroio, It was when he moved the source.

Between the pillars were placed ornamental elements, including two mascarons, where it leaves the water, an inscription with a big sign with the city coat of arms, above the entablature are the Portugal Weapons. The inscription has a long caption, a far-fetched allusive style to work, who promoted and alluding to the fact that the source is lost, the circumstances of its reconstruction and then reborn like a phoenix.

Tower-of-Santa-Cruz-CoimbraThe BARN

The barn was built in the seventeenth century which replaced the local housing that existed since the thirteenth century, pertencentes-aos past behavior. Still maintains its original structure its three floors, windows and interior vaults in brick and its broad central corridor.

In the barn the building was installed, civil chain Coimbra, in 1854 to replace the chain Toll, It has been called the Hell of the Living and Aljube. Currently there is a station of the Public Security Police and where my mother worked between 1968 and 1970. The barn came every year, at least September, at St. Michael, products from various parts of the country, where Crosier had incomes, filling the cellar and the barn.

manga cloister 2


Also in the seventeenth century it was built General Infirmary Monastery, built on the site of the garden, the building had some removal of the main buildings, to avoid the risk of infection and provide more quiet patients. Also I had a long façade facing south so it would be well exposed to the sun, to improve the sick.

The ward would have some individual cells, luxury that today does not yet exist in some hospitals.

Inside the current building, that is the Liceu Jaime, survives a runner, with cradle vaults interrupted by five cupolas in which the reform of the eighteenth century were open skylights, which still remain. On the facade facing the street remain three arches that are now entaipados. My brother did the high school here in the nineties.

As the Manga garden is a remarkable work, It will be deeper target exclusively Article.

tower santacruz2And Finally SANTA CRUZ TOWER

As the land of the Monastery of Santa Cruz (***), were located outside the city Almedina, these were surrounded by a walled enclosure (there are still some remains) with towers.

The tower of Santa Cruz, It was a principal, robust and imposing and should go back to the twelfth or thirteenth century. Had 24 meters high and walls 2,8 providing meters thickness of few openings.

In the sixteenth century, He went up there the bell tower of Coimbra, in number 9.

In 1539 It was found in the tower a treasure of gold coins and gold and silver chips. The treasure that should have been hidden and then forgotten somewhere between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. There were several that claimed, including the King Dom João III and his brother, dom Duarte, commendatory of the monastery in the year of the finding. In 1542, court were recognized as the legitimate owners the monarch and the finder of the treasure, which has the grace of Aleixo de Figueiredo, I hope that good use has given the treasure.
In the eighteenth century, in 1758, was remodeled tower, rising lofty Ventanas with two on each face and bulbous shot, robust over the fortified medieval court. This structure baroque 6 meters high must have contributed to his downfall
The tower came into blasting and how ungrateful conimbricences did nothing, and how threatening passersby and adjacent buildings, this was eventually demolished in the day 3 January 1935 with the help of firefighters, process that lasted three days, for this, They injected water in its foundations.

The Gazeta de Coimbra was the following description of the event: “It is impressive, majestically, gradiosisíma of a beautiful, horrible stunning”. Show that my grandmother watched, accompanied by hundreds of conimbricenses.

And as it turns into the bells of Santa Cruz can continue to play, as were remelted, large becoming small, and applied in the various replicas of national religious monuments of Portugal for the Little Ones.

I was the author of an article in the Daily Coimbra, calling for its reconstruction. The article had an impact at the time, I do not know where you are and was lost somewhere on a computer that I had.

It would be today one of the largest and most powerful medieval towers in Portugal and an icon of Coimbra.

Who want to know, may apply to the Portugal of the little children (*), where its miniature reproduction, with the cock, the bells and their watches.

Original article written in 3 March 2010 and refurbished in August 2018.

Additional References: Attempt to heritage: The Tower of Santa Cruz disappeared 82 years, Article Joao Pinho for the Champion Provincias.

A comment About Tower of Santa Cruz (Coimbra) (**) (Demolished)

  1. Maria Cristina Guinea says:

    I am very grateful for the exposure, for its quality and detail. Very interesting! Article brief but very well written and structured. To me I was especially useful because, albeit Coimbra, I knew little about the monastery of Santa Cruz and Jardim da Manga.

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