The creation of the seminary was a request of the Bishop-Count Miguel da Anunciação, who provided the financial means himself to start the construction works.
The construction project, which is heavily influenced by the Italian architectural style, is attributed to the Italian architect Giovani Tamossi. Unfortunately, Giovani passed away tragically by falling from a scaffold when installing bells in one of the towers, and was replaced by Giacomo Azzolini, a set designer and painter that came from Italy along with Giovani.
The cornerstone was set on July 16th, 1748. Ten years later, the seminary began receiving students. After the completion of the constructions, the seminary was finally solemnly inaugurated on October 28th, 1765.
The access to the architectural complex is through a large gate flanked by stonework columns, which is quite similar to the gate found in the Botanical Garden. The wrought iron door displays the coat of arms of Bishop D. Manuel Correia de Bastos Pina.
The garden/park at the entrance was built in the end of the 19th century and is of Baroque style. The centre of the park contains a set of lakes decorated with mythological figures in stone. In the western corner of the transversal street, you can find a fountain/retable topped by a pelican.
The access to the main building is through an iron and bronze gate built in Bologna. On the top of the gate, there is a beautiful stonework balcony adorned by the Upper Choir Church door and the coat of arms of the Seminary's founding Bishop.
Until 2012, the seminary was a centre for ecclesiastical formation, providing a 6-year Theology course to the candidates running for the priesthood of the Diocese of Coimbra, as well as dioceses in other locations, such as Aveiro, Leiria, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Cape Verde, Beja and Macau. The course consisted of two cycles: Philosophical and Humanistic studies for 2 years and Theology and Pastoral studies for 4 years. During the course, the candidates received the Reader and Acolyte Ministries and at a later stage, the Deacon's and Priest's Orders.
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