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.
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….
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.
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.
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.