Former old Hall of the Palace, it was remodelled by Master Marcos Pires during the second decade of the 16th century.
It was in the Great Hall of Acts that some of the most important episodes in the life of the Portuguese nation took place. As the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in the Citadel, it was here that the Courts of Coimbra where held, in 1385, which proclaimed John I, King of Portugal. This fortress was also the place where all the Kings of the Portuguese first Dynasty lived (1143-1383).
In mid-seventeenth century the Hall of Capelos was definitely transformed by master builder Antonio Tavares, master responsible for many other works of the University. These renovations were sponsored and carried out during the rectorate of D. Manuel de Saldanha. In the early 18th century, the room underwent new remodelling works led by Gaspar Ferreira, which, among other things, renewed the covers and strengthened the walls, closing the Manueline (early baroque) windows, balconies and doors.
The ceiling panels were painted by Jacinto Pereira da Costa. All general works of painting date from the years around 1655, and were performed by Inacio da Fonseca and Luis Alvarez.
The large canvases with portraits of the Kings of Portugal, from Afonso Henriques to John IV are by the painter Charles Falch, a Dane living in Portugal. The rest are by various artists (like João Baptista Ribeiro, Columbano), and have been displayed according to the succession of the monarchs.
The carpentry work was directed by master Francisco de Morais, also responsible for the elaboration of the frames of the portraits painted by Carlos Falch. The exotic wood crates were made by Manuel da Costa and André de Almeida. The magnificent polychrome tiles were made in Lisbon.