King Afonso Henriques decided to build this former cathedral at a time when Coimbra was situated on the border between the Christian and Muslim world. This explains its fortress-like appearance, crowned with merlons. This, Portugal's first cathedral, was built between 1140 and 1175 by two Frenchmen, Bernard and Robert, which explains the resemblance with the Romanesque Auvergne and Cluny churches. Elements have added over the centuries, such as the north Renaissance portal.
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