The Festas of the Rainha Santa are reputed to be the most genuine manifestation of the City’s veneration for its patron saint, Queen Isabel, wife of King Dinis.
Known for her great piety, she showed great sympathy for the poor and excluded, and thus came to be known as the Holy Queen. She was canonised in 1625, an occasion for Coimbra to show its joy & enthusiasm in celebrations which lasted a whole week.
In even numbered years, in July , Coimbra celebrates the festivities of its patron saint – the Holy Queen Isabel, this year from the 1st to the 9th of July.
The festivities include various performances, exhibitions, gastronomy/handicrafts fairs, sporting competitions and lots of entertainment.
On July 5th, it will take place the high point of the festivities, with the solemn procession dedicated to the Holy Queen, in which the wooden framework carrying her effigy, weighing around 1 ton, is transported by twenty four men through the main streets of the city between the Graça Church and the Convent of Santa Clara–a-Nova, following a trajectory that Queen Isabel de Aragão herself walked down many times when she lived in Coimbra in the 14th century.
For the first time in 400 hundred years, the hand of the Holy Queen will be shown!
More information at:
- http://www.turismodecoimbra.pt/Festas da-rainha-santa-isabel