Seminary

250 Years of History

Seminaries

In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent (1545-1563) in Italy determined the establishment of ecclesiastical teaching establishments in all dioceses or ecclesiastical provinces, for the educational and scientific preparation of aspirants to the priesthood: seminaries. Ordinarily, diocesan priests are trained in the Major Seminary. The first two existing in the world are those of Milan and the one of Braga (by the year 1564).

Seminary of Coimbra

At the Major Seminary of Coimbra, until 2012, ecclesiastical formation was lectured here in two cycles: Philosophical Studies (2 years) and Theological Studies (4 years). Here the Superior Institute of Theological Studies (1971-2012) was responsible for the formation of seminarians from the dioceses of Coimbra, Aveiro, Leiria, Portalegre-Castelo Branco, Beja, Cape Verde and Macao. During the course of academic and spiritual formation, the seminarians received the Ministries of Reader and Acolyte and later the orders of Deacon and Priest.

Postal 1910

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Front of the seminary without the fountain roundabout
This particular postcard was used in 1910, having a signature dated February 18th 1910 and postmark dated February 19th 1910.

Main Buildings - General

This seminar was developed by D. Miguel of the Annunciation, as a new initiative, with the money of his personal fortune; the project with Italian trait and taste is developed by the Italian architect Giovani Tamossi who, after his tragic death caused by the fall of a scaffold when placing the bells in one of the towers, was replaced by the set designer and painter Giacomo Azzolini, that came with him from Italy. The first stone was laid on July 16, 1748, the day of Our Lady of Carmo, 17 years later, on October 28, 1765.

At the entrance of the whole building we have a large gate, in stonework, similar to the Botanical Garden, with an iron door, dated 1876, with the episcopal arms of Bishop Conde D. Manuel Correia Bastos Pina (bishop in Coimbra between 1872-1913), who ordered to build a New House and the Brand New House and Garden.

New and Brand New Houses
The central building has on its left side the New House completed in 1873; and the house of the house is the Brand New House from 1880. Both dates are recorded in the outer center arch. In the New House are currently some diocesan services and it will have place the Diocesan Pastoral Center. In the Brand New House is the Hall of St. Thomas, inaugurated by Queen Amelia. It was the largest 'auditorium' at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. In this building it’s installed the new library (available to the public) - mainly of theology.

Garden

There is a garden traced in the XIX in a baroque taste, due to the Bishop Count D. Manuel Correia Bastos Pina, between 1872 and 1893. This garden has in the center a circular set of lakes with mythological figures in stone. At the west end of the cross street, there is a 'fountain' stone altarpiece surmounted by a pelican.

Old House or Central Building

The central building, also called Old House, was built on a slope, so it has three floors on the main facade, facing north, and five on the back, facing south. This building has about 285 windows and 15 balconies.

Above the entrance door we find the coat of arms of Bishop Count D. Miguel of the Annunciation, founder of the seminary, with elements of the Monastery of Santa Cruz, where he had been canon regent, and the plates resulting from the family name.