Chapel of St. Michael, Coimbra University, Portugal

Amidst the buildings of Coimbra’s old university and library is a modest little chapel, the Chapel of St. Michael. Standing in the courtyard of Coimbra’s University a cute little door will not fail to catch your attention. This door in Manueline style is one of the entrances to Chapel of St. Michael. This door is usually closed, may be opens up on certain occasions. We got access to the chapel through a different door on the left of this door.

Chapel of St. Michael, CoimbraChapel Coimbra

Construction of Chapel of St. Michael

The chapel was constructed in 1517 during the reign of King Manuel I. Walking in we found the walls covered with azulejo tiles. These date back to 17th century and this makes it so different from so many other chapels and cathedrals that we have seen. The interiors belong to a different years. Wiki mentions in a chronological order: 1517 to 1522 – chapel was planned by Marco Pires, 1597 – Simão Ferreira made the lamp of this church, 1601 to 1602 – the cup of this church, 1684 – Manuel Ramos did the pulpit. Too much data….

St Michael Chapel Coimbra 1

Most appealing to eye were:

The golden rope like creation going all along the arch of the altar, you cannot miss that. It is most striking. On each side of this arch are Baroque altarpieces from the 18th century. Manueline windows letting in sunlight kept the interiors so bright. The organ, almost protruding out of wall, dates back to 1737 and has about 2,000 pipes. The horizontal trumpet pipes make an interesting subject to photograph. Its acquisition was sponsored by King John V and is still operational. The sea themed paintings on the ceiling are mesmerizing. It is the creation of Francisco F. de Araújo by the end of the 17th century.

St Michael Chapel Coimbra 2

Today the chapel of St. Michael in Coimbra University is a tourist attraction. It is also a popular venue for catholic weddings, both for locals and alumni.

Guided visits

From November 1st to Holy Friday
Everyday from 09:30 to 17:30
Weekends 10:30 to 16:30

Rest of the year
09:00 to 19:20 (Joanine Library) and 10 19:30 (other sites)


Combo tickets to University, Library and Chapel are available at the information center just before the entrance to University complex.

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27 Responses

  1. eileen says:

    Hello, I love the gorgeous ceiling and the organ pipes. What a lovely chapel. Beautiful post and photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  2. sylviakirk says:

    Such a beautiful little church!! I do remember visiting there when I lived in Spain!! Thanks for the memories and for sharing!! Have a great new week!!

  3. Cloudia says:

    What a thrilling and special treasure!

  4. Would love to see those azulejos! Looks like the Portuguese are very proud of their sea men and explorers. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the discovered of California, was Portuguese (that is disputed). Portugal gave California a huge statue of him to place it a National Monument bearing his name.

  5. The interior is so amazing.. As usual lovely capture dear 🙂

  6. Wonderful, Great pics.

  7. Arun says:

    A colorful chapel.

  8. gorgeous ceiling 🙂

  9. Such a pretty church with aesthetically pleasing ceiling!

  10. magiceye says:

    Beautiful intricate workmanship!

  11. Lovely account on Chapel of St. Michael with some amazing clicks, as always 🙂

  12. ladyfi says:

    Such amazing tiles! So pretty!

  13. Ami says:

    Beautiful walls and ceiling. Lovely pics 😀

  14. Everything Portuguese I am now interested, most especially their use of tiles.

  15. Chaicy says:

    In love with the Art inside the Chapel. Such lovely pics. I’ll be sure to visit this one. Well written.

    xoxo – Style.. A Pastiche!

  16. U K says:

    Grand..Yes that is how it can be described in a single word.

  17. Interesting description of the Chapel of St. Michael, Indrani.. Lovely Photo Clicks!

  18. Niranjan says:

    Beautiful art work.

  19. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    The vibrant colours and intricate decorations are amazing!….Great clicks, Indrani… 🙂

  20. The chapel is gorgeous. Loved the decorations. Beautifully captured 🙂

  21. I’d lay on the floor like Alice and just look into that Wonderland ceiling.

  22. Priyanka says:

    The domed ceiling looks stunning.

  23. klara says:

    what a craftmanshift!

  24. Beautiful chapels. As you have written the golden rope like structure is very interesting . I have seen beautiful chapels in St. Aloysius church in Managlore too.

  25. Lovely to see you are still on your travels, gorgeous rich photos, so much to look at in each of them, I’m sure the Portuguese tourist board are very happy to see this post 🙂
    Have fun.
    Wren x

  26. Jeevan says:

    Beautiful capture and pretty colorful interior! Interesting to note that things added to the chapel from different time period.

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