College of jesus
During the Pombal reforms, the whole complex was completely transformed in order to prepare it for its new functions, with the construction of new and large rooms around the three existing courtyards.
Art and Architecture
During the Pombal reforms, the whole complex was completely transformed in order to prepare it for its new functions, with the construction of new and large rooms around the three existing courtyards. The Museum of Natural History is modern and functional, making widespread use of classical elements. In keeping with the educational and scientific nature of the Pombaline Reform, the building also contains amphitheatres, used for lectures before practical and experimental lessons became the norm.
The museum and library collections also bear witness to the progress of science throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
The church, now known as the “new cathedral” (Sé Nova), has a single longitudinal nave, with four intercommunicating side chapels, an inscribed transept and deep chancel. After the conversion of the College church into the new cathedral, further refurbishments took place, with the expansion of the chancel, the reintegration of the choir, and installation of two large pipe organs.
The building is for the most part well preserved. The façades were rehabilitated in 2009.
Rehabilitation works are planned in order to complete the project of the Museum of Science of the University of Coimbra. The Museum will include the current University Museums and will develop various themes in the field of sciences. The first phase of this project was successfully concluded in December 2006 with the completion of the renovation of the Chemistry Laboratory building.
This second phase of the project includes the renovation of the College of Jesus so that the most significant part of the University of Coimbra’s museum collections can be concentrated there. The Science Museum will function in both buildings, with a very clear programme: to create a national centre for the promotion of science and to become a leading national centre in the sphere of scientific museumology.