Portugal: Coimbra – Monastery of Santa Cruz

One of the most important churches in Portugal, Igreja de Santa Cruz, was founded in the 1131 when Coimbra was the capital of Portugal. The first two Portuguese kings are buried here – King Afonso Henriques and his successor King Sancho I. To say that the church is lavish with unimaginable riches would actually be a slight understatement. The best architects, sculptors, artists, painters worked on decorating it through the centuries with the building being now stuffed to the rim with treasures and artifacts. The famous Azulejos tiles are just stunning, as is the organ of 4000 pipes and the tombs of the two kings and the altars. This is more then a church, but rather a monastic complex with various ornate cloisters and chapels and halls and courtyards. A whole day may not be enough to colors every boom and cranny here .