3 interesting spots that maybe are not in your Coimbra tour guide

 

Elysio de Moura House-Museum

Near the University, next to the new Hotel Sapientia, there's this brand new place called Elysio de Moura House-Museum. It is the former residence of famous university professor, philanthropist and doctor Elysio de Moura. As you go in, you instantly travel in time because of the wallpaper, naprons, top hats, wood and marble scents. A delight to the senses for anyone who loves vintage style, but especially for those who enjoy history and a very good story. The place is part of the Casa de Infância Dr. Elysio de Moura headquarters, a house that until today shelters underprivileged children. Inside the House-Museum you can see Dr. Moura’s lab, rooms, office, living room, bathroom and kitchen. Born in Braga, Dr. Moura lived there from the late 1920s until 1977, period during which he was excelled in the teaching and research of Psychiatry and Neurology in Portugal and, at the beginning of the Republic, contributed to the maintenance of the teaching of Medicine at University of Coimbra. The House-Museum was inaugurated last June, same date as Dr. Elysio de Moura passing in the 70’s, just a few days after completing 100 years old. 

Rua Doutor Guilherme Moreira 22, Coimbra
Free entrance
Contacts: cmelysiodemoura@gmail.com, 239 822 650

 

Casa Costa Lobo 

There is a treasure waiting for you in the Alta area, right before you reach the Old Cathedral (Sé Velha). It’s called Casa Costa Lobo. José de Sousa Gonzaga, a trader in Coimbra, bought the main building that belonged to the Coutinho family and was in semi-ruin. Because he wanted a big house for the whole family, he putted some buildings together and from an amalgam of houses from the eighteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth century, resulted this unique property. Once past the oak gate, there is much to explore: a Renaissance arch, a flanked staircase with 18th century tiles, Manueline windows, guillotine windows with 17th century benches and many stars (which mark the name of Sousa Gonzaga's only daughter, Maria "Estrela", that means star in portughese). The house was offered in dowry to her, who was to marry the lens of the University of Coimbra, Francisco Miranda da Costa Lobo. The noble hall of this scenographic house was decorated by Pereira Cão (artist, set designer and well-known decorator). Following the corridors, you arrive at the dining room from where you can see the University and the cathedral's dome. There are also surprising interior gardens. 

Rua dos Coutinhos 22, Coimbra
Ticket: 10€
Contacts: 919 260 180, 239 196 052

 

Aliança Underground Museum  

Only 45 minutes from Coimbra, in Sangalhos, the Underground Alliance Museum opened in 2010 and is perfect for art and wine lovers. The place is housed in the cellars of the Aliança Vinhos de Portugal, the winery founded in 1927 by national producers. When tycoon and art collector Joe Berardo became a major shareholder in 2007, he decided to take part of his astronomical estate and make it accessible for the public. A guide walks you through 7 different art collections, ranging from areas such as archeology, ethnography, mineralogy and paleontology to tiles, pottery and stamping. Pieces spanning an impressive time span over millions of years - yes, millions, it includes dinosaurs' fossils. As you go through the dark and humid corridors of the cellars, the alcoholic smell of the wines, sparkling and spirits intensifies, but worry not, in the end of the visit they will let you taste some.

Rua do Comércio 236, Sangalhos
Ticket: 3€ (free for children under 12 anos)
Open Monday to Sunday (closes 1 Jan and 25 Dec)
Contacts: 234 732 045, 234 732 005, visitas@alianca.pt

 

by Filipa Queiroz

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