Coimbra is the largest and most developed city in the Central Portugal region, with more than 105 thousand inhabitants. Its patrimonial wealth and the good preservation of its architectural legacy contribute to the beauty that it boasts and that make it one of the most important cities in Portugal.

A World Heritage Site, its historic scrolls date back to the Roman era, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe! It was occupied by Romans, Arabs and French and was constituted as the country's capital until 1255, after Guimarães and before Lisbon assumed this function.

The city spreads out over the two banks of the Mondego River, which crosses it between hills, contributing to its nostalgic beauty, which has enshrined it as the most romantic city in Portugal, thanks to the tragic story of forbidden love, between Infante D Pedro and Inês de Castro. Coimbra inspired poets and celebrated fado with his name.

A university city, it owes its University much of its fame below and beyond its borders. Founded in 1290 by D. Dinis, it soon gained importance in the European context, becoming the center of the city and its growth beyond the walls. The student population, currently with more than 37,000 students from the rest of the country and from all over the world, has always been one of its main cultural and economic development pillars. Hence the second name of Coimbra: the City of Students!

In addition to the University, the Coimbra Hospital was for a long time one of the main points of attraction and the main medical infrastructure in the central region of the country, where the sick people went in search of relief for their ills. Built in the 16th century, it is now known as an important research center in the clinical and medical specialties.

  • University of Coimbra - Founded in 1290 by el-rei D.Dinis (presumed that its existence dates back to 1131), the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe, a World Heritage Site, is a building that is worth visiting, for its antiquity, for its beautiful gardens, the Biblioteca Joanina , the Chapel of São Miguel , the University Tower, the main building and the Sala dos Capelos .
    etc. She is also responsible for the pulse of the city, which is confused with academic life, with emphasis on the most awaited event of the year: Queima das Fitas , celebrated at the end of the academic year;
  • Coimbra Hospital - Its history is confused with that of the University. Initially built by two buildings, while supporting the Faculty of Medicine, it dates back to 1560 (Colégio de S. Jerónimo) and 1568 (Colégio Real das Artes). But its official history begins in 1956, when the current building of the Faculty of Medicine (Polo I) was inaugurated.It was there that some of the services and laboratories of the Hospital were born. In 1986, the new Hospital of the University of Coimbra (HUC) appears in Celas:
  • Quinta das Lágrimas - Famous for being the stage, together with its beautiful gardens, of the love between D. Pedro and Inês de Castro, tells the legend that it was next to the Fonte das Lágrimas that Inês de Catro was murdered. Today it is occupied by a luxury hotel;
  • Santa Cruz Monastery - Monument built in the 12th century in the Manueline architectural style, located in downtown Coimbra. It has a beautiful dome and an organ in Baroque style and the walls of the nave are decorated with blue and white Lisbon tiles, which narrate Biblical passages. It is presumed that the first regular medical school in 1131 existed here, before the foundation of the University of Coimbra. In Capela Mor is located what was the first National Pantheon with the tombs of the first two Kings of Portugal: D. Afonso Henriques and D. Sancho I.Be sure to visit the beautiful Jardim da Manga attached to the Monastery, dating from the 16th century;
  • Sé Velha de Coimbra - Romanesque church designed by French architects, built in 1139 by D. Afonso Henriques, after the Battle of Ourique, and which has remained almost intact until today.The large number of sculpted capitals, the exterior aspect surrounded by towers and battlements reminiscent of a castle, the cloister later built by Afonso II in a pre-Gothic style, the decoration with Sevillian Hispanic-Arab tiles, are strong reasons for a deserved visit;
    Sé Nova de Coimbra - It was opened at the end of the 17th century by the Jesuits and has Mannerist and Baroque elements;
  • Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery - Built in the 17th century in the Baroque style, in place of the oldest former monastery, it was here that in the 14th century Queen Santa Isabel was buried;
  • Fado ao Centro - It is a Cultural Center where you can watch shows every day listening to the famous Fado of Coimbra . In Fado ao Centro there is also the "Escola de Fado e Guitarra";
    Machado de Castro National Museum - Once the Coimbra Episcopal Palace , today it is one of the most important museums of Fine Artsfrom Portugal and owes its name to the Coimbra-born sculptor, Machado de Castro.Its collection includes important centers of sculpture, painting and decorative arts. In 2011 a new building was opened, which coexists with the previous one.
  • Science Museum - Located next to the University of Coimbra, here you will find the Chimico Laboratory; an interactive museum that depicts how the teaching of chemistry in Portugal and the Colégio de Jesus worked ; a museum on natural history, from the 18th century perspective, with its collections of physics, zoology, geology, mineralogy and paleontology.
  • São Francisco Convent - It was remodeled and opened in 2016, becoming a cultural space. Music concerts, dance shows pass through here; plays, etc.
  • Portugal dos Pequenitos - A fun theme park that children and adults have to visit at least once in their life! A trip to the most famous monuments in Portugal replicated in small size, to everyone's delight!
Updated on: 
7. April 2020
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