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Recover the tradition: The Weddings of Queen Santa Isabel are back

About 40 years later, Coimbra recovers one of its most beautiful traditions: the Weddings of Queen Santa Isabel, Patroness of the City of Coimbra, returns to the city!

The last Weddings of the Queen were celebrated in the early 1980s. Going back to the 1970s, Weddings were referred in the regional newspapers of the time – “Diário de Coimbra”, “Despertar”, “Correio de Coimbra” – as “The Brides’ Weddings”. The celebration was an act with great social significance and that aroused the curiosity of hundreds of people not only for the Religious Ceremony but also for the affection they had for the initiative. The Weddings took place, at the Convent of Queen Santa Isabel, with the support and contribution of several prominent entities in the City (companies, commercial establishments from the most varied areas) to whom words of gratitude and appreciation were always publicly addressed in the newspapers.
The initiative was aimed at young couples with financial difficulties, who were also offered the trousseau. Otherwise, it would be difficult for them celebrate the wedding.

It is known that the political and social disturbances that followed the 1975 April Revolution affected the festivities in the city and, consequently, this beautiful tradition. It was also considered that there was no longer any need for such sponsored weddings to take place, since people would now have a standard of living capable of supporting the expenses of the celebration. However, “Diário de Coimbra” had a different understanding and decided to keep alive a tradition that it considered to be part of the socio-cultural heritage of the city, ensuring the sponsorship of the initiative that, at the time, was organized by the Municipal Tourism Commission. The last reference to the realization of the weddings is from 1982, leading us to believe that this was the last year of its realization.

Moving forward to the present day, the union between five entities in the region – “Confraria da Rainha Santa Isabel”, “Câmara Municipal de Coimbra”, “Turismo Centro de Portugal”, “Associação da Hotelaria Restauração e Similares de Portugal (AHRESP)” e a “Escola de Turismo de Portugal” – is bringing this tradition back to the city! The event will take place in all odd years, on the Sunday before the 4th of July, the day of the city and of Queen Santa Isabel.

Of the 25 candidate couples this year, 7 were selected, aged between 28 and 40 years.
After the celebration of the Catholic wedding at the Queen Santa Isabel Church, the couples will be received by the organizers in the Cloisters of the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova where the cutting of the cake will take place. The 2nd of July 2023 will be a special day not only for these 7 couples but for the entire city: “any city that wants to project itself into the future has to start by treating its traditions and roots well”, said the president of the municipality, José Manuel Silva. We couldn’t agree more.

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