Coimbra – historic Portuguese city, bathed by Mondego River, very hospitable, quiet and well known for the love story between Dona Inês de Castro and Dom Pedro I (Romeo and Juliet Portuguese) and for being the place of the first University in the country. It is 120 km from Porto and 210 km from Lisbon.
The University of Coimbra was founded by the King Don Dinis I in 1290, so it is one of the oldest in all of Europe. Very ancient and simultaneously very modern city, capital of Portugal in the 12th and 13th centuries, Coimbra preserves the traces of the Celtic, Roman, Visigothic, Muslim culture – all those, who once governed the Portuguese lands. With such a rich history, denoting the importance of this city at a national level, Coimbra has a splendid heritage – monuments such as the Old Cathedral and the churches of São Tiago, São Salvador and Santa Cruz (with the tombs of the first kings of Portugal), which takes you back, right to the beginnings of the Portuguese nation. Many other monuments are noteworthy in Coimbra, such as the beautiful convents of Santa-Clara-a-Velha and Santa-Clara-a-Nova (where D. Inês de Castro have been stabbed to death), the Church of Santo António dos Olivais or New Cathedral of Coimbra, the University itself with its Joanina Library (one of the most beautiful in the world) and the 34 meter high tower that offers a breath-taking view over whole city.
According to a fado sung by the students, “Coimbra has more charm at the time of the farewell”, but it may not be necessary to reach that moment to discover it.
16 km away are the ruins of Conímbriga – one of the main cities during Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula, the most important archaeological site in the country.