This plan is the first of a group of eleven detailed drawings by J. C. Magne, illustrating the remodelling work of the Couraça de Lisboa and the accesses to the ‘Alta’, as part of the Pombaline Reform of the University of Coimbra. At the lower edge of the map is the Sé Velha. Also represented here are the Laboratório Químico, the Museu de História Natural, the Sé Nova and the Observatório Astronómico, buildings which were constructed or remodelled in projects by Elsden. The description appears in the cartouche, flanked by two allegorical figures: on the left, the figure representing the City of Coimbra (or the University) supports the coat of arms in her right hand and holds the University statutes in the other; on the right, the allegorical figure of the Mondego River appears, framed by the S. Sebastião Aqueduct.
A drawing of the elevation of the Observatory (fig.1a), of which only the ground floor had been built when the initial project was abandoned, suggests that this drawing, and the group to which it belongs, was produced later than 1777.


Couraça de Lisboa - side elevation, detail 
50.2 x 68.2 cm 
MNMC 2305