Santa Cruz (Coimbra), Monastery of
SANTA CRUZ (COIMBRA), MONASTERY OF
Former monastery of canons regular of st. augustine, at Coimbra, Portugal. The monastery, one of the glories of medieval Portugal, was founded by Tello, archdeacon and member of the cathedral chapter of that city. The cornerstone was laid on June 28, 1131; soon after the canonical customs of Saint-Ruf near Avignon were adopted for the governance of the monastery. Jurisdictional conflicts with the Diocese of Coimbra prompted Tello to seek papal exemptions from episcopal control. After the founder's death in 1136 the history of Santa Cruz was intimately associated with theotonius, the first prior (1132–52). Through Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, it became an institution of considerable wealth. It became a religious center of widespread influence, but by 1527 it was badly in need of reform. The Hieronymite, Blaise of Braga, laid down new rigorous statutes for the monastery, and it reached the height of its renown in this century. The congregation of Santa Cruz included 19 monasteries. The monastery remained in existence until the decree of secularization in 1833. The church in Manueline style is now used by the parish. The monastic buildings serve diverse purposes.
Bibliography: Livro Santo, an unpublished 140-folio cartulary found in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo. Vita Tellonis archidiaconi in Portugaliae monumenta historica, Scriptores 1:64–75. c. erdmann, Papsturkunden in Portugal (Berlin 1927). e. a. o'malley, Tello and Theotonio: The Twelfth-Century Founders of the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra (Washington 1954). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 1:830.