In my road trip last September I was travelling with my boyfriend from Leiria to Aveiro when we decided to stop in Coimbra and explore the museum about Saint Clara’s Monastery. It is nowadays in ruins because it was abandoned in 1677 due to the frequent floods by the river Mondego. The monastery was founded in 1283.
The museum has a room about some remains uncovered in excavations and tells the story of monastic life in that monastery through centuries, shows some religious art and bones from people buried in the monastery.
You can also visit the old church which is amazing because you can see marked on stones the floods (you notice that on my second picture from the gallery). You cannot go to the cloister but you can see it. I could imagine how beautiful it might have been from what is still there.
At the end we saw a documentary about the story of the monastery which is related to the life of Queen Elizabeth of Portugal, for instance. When we bought tickets we were told the hour it would begin and we had enough time to see everything and also the documentary (one hour later, more or less).
I have to be honest, I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much as I did the museum and the experience. I love History and heritage (I even studied them for my Master Degree) but I didn’t know that we could actually visit the old building (what remains of it) and I thought the collection was smaller because the building was abandoned and the nouns went to other building, so they left with their belongings, I wasn’t expecting much about this museum. And the movie was a good addiction also!