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Pátio da Inquisição – a place full of history and culture

Located near “Rua da Sofia”, the “Pátio da Inquisição” reveals, in its name, part of its history.

But going back in time and starting from the beginning…it was there that in 1548, on the initiative of D. João III, the “Real Colégio das Artes e Humanidades” (Royal College of Arts and Humanities) was established. It was King João III’s intention to renew education in the country and invest in institutions of a humanist nature where liberal arts and humanities studies were developed.

In 1555, due to divergent ideas, the building came under the tutelage of the “Companhia de Jesus” and was eventually handed over, by the Jesuits, to the “Tribunal do Santo Ofício” (Court of the Holy Office).This is how, from 1566 until 1821, it was there that a repressive institution operated that judged, repressed and condemned Renaissance and humanist ideas. The former refectory of the Real Colégio das Artes became “prisons” and the “house of torment”, with some cells still visible today. The Court of the Holy Office of Coimbra was considered one of the cruelest in the whole country.

Since 2003, after remodeling and adaptation works, the “Centro de Artes Visuais” (CAV) operates in part of the old collegiate buildings. More recently, since 2021, the “Pátio da Inquisição” host a long-term exhibition, “Jews of Coimbra | of tolerance to persecution | memories and materialities”, which tells the story of the Jewish communities in Coimbra.

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Hotel Oslo - Coimbra
Av. Fernão de Magalhães, 25
3000-175 Coimbra, Portugal
Tel. +351 239 829 071
(national landline call)
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