University of Coimbra


Subtitle:  With more than 700 years of history, the University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in the world, recently recognized by UNESCO

By signing the "Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis", in 1288, King Dinis has created the oldest University in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world. A century subsequent to the very foundation of the Portuguese nation, the University of Coimbra was born. It began in Lisbon and was afterwards transferred to Coimbra, again to Lisbon until 1537, when the University was definitively established in the city of Mondego. Initially confined to the Royal Palace, the University of Coimbra spilled over, modifying its landscape, building a genuine university town. With more than seven centuries, the University of Coimbra has a unique tangible and intangible heritage, keystone in the history of scientific culture in Europe and all over the world. A valuable heritage recently recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO. -




Botanic Garden


Subtitle: The Botanic Garden is a unique garden which gathers the largest collection of plants from all over the world

The Botanic Garden is a unique garden placed at the centre of Coimbra with a high natural and scientific value. It is considered one of the most treasured botanic gardens in the world, allowing a perfect connection between nature and science and a diversity of the fauna from all over the world. Designed by the Italian manner, the garden occupies an area of approximately 13.5 hectares and is surrounded by a splendid bronze iron railing. It is divided into two main areas: the first occupies a higher area with architectural intervention consisting of different heights, stairs and avenues which highlight the "Central Square" created in the 18th century - the Garden’s core. This higher area has six floors and features, among many other heritage elements, the remarkable “Alameda das Tílias” and several collections of plants from different regions of the world. The second area consists of the woods, consisting essentially of exotic species. It was the botanist Avelar Brotero, honored with a neoclassical statue of marble in the garden, who fought for the very growth of the Botanic Garden, having gathered the largest collection of plants in the world to visit in Portugal.




Penedo da Saudade


Subtitle: The "Penedo da Saudade" is an inspiring retreat for poets and writers with a splendid view

Situated on a cliff 50 meters high, the “Penedo da Saudade” is one of the most beautiful sights of Coimbra. In this romantic and heavenly place, it is possible to see the eastern part of the city that spreads to the Mondego River. Being distributed by different levels, which is an excellent use of the topography, the garden is a place full of romantic and quiet corners, which honours some outstanding figures of Portuguese culture, such as the poets João de Deus and António Nobre and the writer Eça de Queiroz. Genuine ex-libris of the city, the Penedo da Saudade is deeply connected to the culture of Coimbra and its academy, with numerous plaques commemorating events and academic meetings. The most antique plaques date from 1855 and are scattered by various points of the Garden. The visit must include "Sala dos Cursos" and "Sala dos Poetas." In the corners of the garden there are banks which invite visitors to leisure. Botanical lovers can admire some examples of native flora.




Old Cathedral


Subtitle: Students annually attend to “Serenata Monumental”, hearing the typical “Fado” of Coimbra outside the Old Cathedral

The Old Cathedral of Coimbra was built in the twelfth century, under the guidance of Master Roberto who was building, at the same time, the Cathedral of Lisbon. It is a romanesque church built in yellow limestone, and it consists of three naves and a cloister which was built later, in the thirteenth century. The majestic monument is situated between the University of Coimbra and Lower Town where are the traditional shopping streets. It has undergone several renovations and interventions, mostly in the early sixteenth century. “Porta Especiosa” on its side, of Renaissance character, was made by the architect João de Ruão and the sculptor Nicolau Chanterenne. Inside the church, the headboard, the tower-lantern over the crossing, the medieval tombs and sixteenth-century Seville tiles are other great 'relics' to visit.




The Church of Santa Cruz | National Pantheon


Subtitle: It is in the Church of Santa Cruz, also called the National Pantheon, where lies the tomb of the first Kings of Portugal

Started in 1131, by order of king Afonso Henriques, the monastery of Santa Cruz was given to the Order of Saint Augustine. Among the notables who attended the school of the monastery, there is Saint Anthony himself who was integrated in the orders of Saint Francisco in Coimbra. The church is Romanesque and the works, which were promoted by King Manuel I, highlighted the monument with its vaults and remarkable stalls, from 1513, and whose crowning is allusive to the Portuguese discoveries. It has equal importance the overlying of the royal tombs made by Nicholas Chanterenne in Renaissance style, who also built the Cloister of Silence. The frontage of the Romanesque monastery displays structural elements combined with the decoration of the gateway, built in the sixteenth century. The Triumphal Arch dates back to the nineteenth century. The first kings of Portugal - Afonso Henriques and Sancho I - lie in majestic tomb chests, in the chancel of the church of Santa Cruz, today also known as National Pantheon.




Machado de Castro Museum


Subtitle:The museum is rich in medieval sacred art and save the Cryptoportic of Aeminium, the Roman city  dating back to the 1srt century

The National Museum Machado de Castro is located in the old Episcopal Palace of Coimbra, having been classified as a National Monument in 1910. Opened to the public in 1913, the museum occupies the buildings that, from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, were built to serve as episcopal residence. It is remarkable the traces of the cloister from "Condal" period (c. 1100-c. 1140) and the Cryptoportic dated from the first century (dc.), which is the most important preserved Roman building in Portugal. The collection includes mostly the goods of extinct religious houses of the region with sculpture, painting, ceramics and textiles. The monochrome or polychrome sculpture in wood and stone plays a key role, works made in the best Flemish workshops and Portuguese schools, from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. The name of the museum is a tribute to the royal sculptor of Coimbra, during the reigns of King Joseph D. Maria I and D. Joao VI, and the most remarkable representative of the Portuguese sculpture of the eighteenth century.




The Tower D’Anto and Sub-Ripas Palace


Subtitle: The Tower D'Anto is medieval in its origin, having its frontage been preserved almost unchanged

The Tower D' Anto, of medieval origin, was constructed in the old wall of Coimbra, being then known as Tower “Prior do Ameal”. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, it has undergone a major renovation, having been preserved its frontage. Its current name is related to the fact that it was the residence, at the end of the nineteenth century, of a famous Portuguese poet named António Nobre (1867-1900).

The Sub-ripas Palace consists of two distinct bodies, called the “Upper House” or the “Arch House” and the “Lower House" or “Tower House”, with a magnificent Manueline portal, built in the first half of the sixteenth century. Notable are also the numerous bas-reliefs bearing exterior walls. According to the style and technique, this artistic work was probably made by the famous sculptor João de Ruão. Currently, this building is used by some services of the Institute of Archaeology and is not open to visits.




The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha


Subtitle: The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha was the Queen’s monastic residence for about 11 years

The Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha is undeniably associated to the Saint Queen Isabel, wife of King Dinis and patron of the city. It was her monastic residence for about 11 years and after the king's death. The first foundation of the monastery dates back to 1283, on the initiative of Mrs. Mor Dias, a noble and wealthy lady who lived at the Monastery of São João das Donas, attached to the male monastery of Santa Cruz. This early foundation linked to the order of St. Clare gave so much litigation that the monastery was eventually abolished in 1311.
It was the Queen Isabel herself, three years later, who decided to reinstall the Poor Clare Sisters at Coimbra, having obtained permission from the Holy See, signed on April 10, 1314. The construction of the new monastery of the Poor Clare Sisters of Coimbra became protected and sponsored by Queen Isabel who personally engaged in this cause. They were later transferred to the Convent of Santa Clara-a-Nova, due to constant flooding of the river. The monument remained submerged for centuries being only visible the upper floor.




Tower and Arch of Almedina

Subtitle: The Arch and Tower of Almedina were once the centre of the city of Coimbra

The Almedina Arch, the Barbican Arch and the Almedina Watchtower were part of the defense of Coimbra which dates back to 137 BC when the Romans (Julius Gross) built the Acropolis and the ring of walls supported by towers, around the roman city Aeminium. The Small Arch, also known as the Barbican Arch, on the way up from the street Ferreira Borges to the High of Coimbra, have probably been built during the reigns of King Afonso III and Dinis. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Almedina Tower becomes the center of the political power of the city, becoming the House of Audience Chamber. At the top, it still remains the old bell tower which sounded to announce the sessions of the House, to give the morning hours and the opening and closing of the city gates, announcing also plague and other disastrous events. In the centuries XVI and XVII, the tower appears with the same configuration as it has nowadays. I was classified as a National Monument in 1910, and today it keeps the Municipal Historical Archives.




The New Cathedral

Subtitle: The New Cathedral was once the College Church of the Society of Jesus in Coimbra

The New Cathedral, once the College Church of the Society of Jesus, was designed by Baltazar Álvares, official architect of the Jesuits in the late sixteenth century, who was inspired by the church of the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, in Lisbon. Construction began in 1598 and only in 1640 it was finished, starting with the cult, but the temple was only inaugurated in 1698. The front, in the architectural point of view, consists of two chains; the bottom is markedly Mannerist, highlighting four statues of Jesuit saints - Saint Inácio, Saint Luís Gonzaga, Saint Francisco Xavier and Saint Francisco de Borja. The top, completed only in the eighteenth century, is baroque style, standed out the weapons of Nation and two saints who are twice the natural size – São Pedro and São Paulo. In 1759, Jesuits during the administration of the Marquis of Pombal, the church was abandoned by Jesuits and, in 1772, the canons of the Old Cathedral were transferred to the church of the Jesuits, which started to call the New Cathedral.




Quinta das Lágrimas


Subtitle: Those gardens witnessed the famous love story between Pince Pedro and Inês de Castro


“Quinta das Lágrimas” is an eighteenth century palace which was for centuries a private family sanctuary. It is currently a four-star Hotel, set in a peaceful spot, surrounded by nature, with charm, history and tranquility. The gardens, the fountains “Fonte dos Amores” and “Fonte das Lágrimas”, from the period of Queen Isabel, have witnessed the real and forbidden love between the crown prince Pedro with a beautiful Galician maiden named Inês de Castro, in the fourteenth century.  The legend tells that it was in the gardens where the beautiful Inês was killed by men on the orders of his lover's father, King Afonso IV, and that her spilled blood still stains the red the rocks of the Fountain of Tears.




Portugal dos Pequenitos


Subtitle: The “Portugal dos Pequenitos” was designed by Professor Bissaya Barreto

Live picture of Portuguese nationality and Portuguese presence in the world, Portugal dos Pequenitos is a historical and pedagogical reference for many generations. It was created by Professor Bissaya Barreto and designed by architect Cassiano Branco and it was opened to the public on 8 June 1940. The recreational park represents, in detail and on a reduced scale, a number of copies of Architecture and History of Portugal (Portuguese monuments such as the University of Coimbra, homes folk architecture, buildings located in Portuguese Speaking Countries and museums). The park was designed specially to children and is located in Coimbra, being the oldest in the country and certainly one of the oldest in the world.




Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova / Church of Saint Queen Isabel


Subtitle: Built in 17th century, the monastic ensemble replaced the primitive monastery

The monastic ensemble begun to be built in 1649 to replace the primitive Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha, which was ruined by the floods of Mondego. With the worsening of living conditions in the original monastery, on 29 October 1677, the new and unfinished construction received the Poor Clares Sisters, who were the faithful guardians of the sacred remains of Queen Isabel, carried in solemn procession. Situated on the hill of Nossa Senhora da Esperança, the buildings are in Baroque, sober and utilitarian style, punctuated by towers. In the church lies the silver and crystal urn in Mannerist style from the 17th century, where is venerated the sacred body of Queen Isabel. The works would be completed in the late eighteenth century with the completion of the cloister, one of the largest in the country, built in 1733 and classified as a National Monument in 1910, along with the church.




Green Park of Mondego River


Subtitle: the Green Park is a beautiful place for leisure along the Mondego river

The Mondego Green Park is a beautiful green park which opened in 2004 after a bold design and landscape rehabilitation of the Mondego river waterfront for about nearly three miles which was in very poor condition. The project designed by the architect Camilo Courtier, integrated a wide area restoration with terrace cafes, bars and restaurants, a vast area for walking and for outdoor activities, and, on the other side, an area dedicated to water sports and maintenance, with a picnic area, bringing the city population to its river Mondego. The enjoyment of the most breathtaking scenery is the link between the two banks by the footbridge named Pedro and Inês, authored by Adam Fonseca and Cecil Balmond. The green park has a bike path, and in its left bank it was reclassified an area called "Praça da Canção", where annually take place the students’ academic party worldwide known for its secular traditions and academic praxis – Queima das Fitas.



The Exploratory of Infante D. Henrique


Subtitle: The Exploratory Infante D. Henrique is an interactive science center of informal learning in addition to school

The Exploratory Infante D. Henrique, situated on the left bank of the Mondego, in Coimbra, is an interactive science center of informal learning in addition to school, and which attempts to illustrate how science can be accessible and interesting. The Exploratory has recently undergone an expansion project with a new building and an interactive exhibit which was only outlined in 1rst phase and was inaugurated in 2008 in the Mondego Green Park. Entitled "In good shape with science," the exhibition features new interactive modules that give to know the functioning of the human body and the relationship between science and health. The project also includes the definitive space of a planetarium.




Fórum Coimbra


Legenda: Forum Coimbra is thebiggest shopping centre and has great view to the city

Forum Coimbra is the biggest shopping centre located in the Central Region of Portugal. Designed by Broadway Malyan, its architecture earned him several international awards. With its bold architecture, the shopping centre was designed by Broadway Malyan and its original architecture was recognized with many international awards. With over a hundred shops placed in three commercial floors, the building is plenty of light and windows to the city, and has six cinema. Here, consumers can make their purchases benefiting the highest standards of international trade, finding only proposals similar in concept, cosmopolitanism, sophistication and diversity. With a 48.000sqm of GLA, Forum Coimbra is served by a foodcourt area with 744 seats and 28 restaurants. Visitors can enjoy one of the most stunning views over the city and river.




Praça da Canção


Subtitles: It is in Praça da Canção where takes place the academic party “Queima das Fitas” from University of Coimbra

It is in “Praça da Canção” where it is held every year the famous nights concerts of “Queima das Fitas”, the academic party of students from the University of Coimbra, which is worldwide known for its secular traditions and academic praxis.


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