The construction of the Old Cathedral began in the 12th century under the direction of Master Roberto, who was directing in the same period the works of the Cathedral of Lisbon.
Art and Architecture
The construction of the Old Cathedral began in the 12th century under the direction of Master Roberto, who was directing in the same period the works of the Cathedral of Lisbon. The Romanic church, built in yellow limestone, is located on a slope and is composed by three aisles, prominent transept and threefold headboard. The one floor cloister, located on the southern side of the church was built in the beginning of the 13th century.
From the several works and remodeling that the cathedral went through, stand the work campaign that took place in the beginning of the 16th century and the works of construction of a renascence Specious Door performed by Architect João de Ruão and the sculptor Nicolau Chanterenne. Standing on the north elevation of the transept of the church, the Specious Door, of high sculpting value, in white limestone, is composed by three overlaid architectural registers, particularly the loggia and the adornment that reconstructs the triumphal Roman arches.
Inside the church stand the headboard, the lantern-tower over the cross, the medieval tombs and the 16th century Seville tiles that encase the columns and the aisles, and that today are circumscribed to some areas and arcosoliums.
In the 18th century, after the expulsion of the Jesuits, the episcopal headquarters were transferred to the Church of Jesus College in the city uptown, known today as the New Cathedral of Coimbra.