The Rua da Sofia was built in the 16th c. to house the University Colleges, and so it is a straight line with numerous points of interest along its length. Unfortunately most of them are closed and these days it seems the cheap stores and decadent shopping centers (there is one inside a church!) are its only sources of life. Granted, since being awarded UNESCO’s World Heritage status in 2013 many renovations are under way.
In the middle of this there are still hidden gems to be discovered. This courtyard has a wainscot of hunting scenes in azulejos, blue pearls in the blue rococo foregrounds and a vibrantly painted base. The stone panels at the top of the stair seem vaguely Elizabethan with shallow Renaissance pilasters above. The ceiling has deep, dark moldings in a complex geometric pattern. Finally, the whole thing has a strong lived-in air, with cables flying around and a rusty celing lamp: it is the entrance to a kindergarten!
Hopefully for the kids, the iron balustrade will be back from repairs soon.
Rua da Sofia, Coimbra