Halfway between Lisbon and Porto, this varied and captivating city has a long history and vibrant atmosphere built around the country's oldest university.

Coimbra The Medieval Capital of Portugal

The town's long history is visible by the Roman Cryptoporticus on display in the town’s Museu Machado de Castro. When the Moors conquered the city in the early 8th century, it served as a trading center for almost three hundred years – today’s Arco de Almedina gateway marks the entrance to a former Moorish medina. Shortly after the Christian Reconquista of 1064, Coimbra became the country’s capital. During this time, the Sé Velha was built, along with the Convento de Santa Cruz. The Universidade de Coimbra opened it doors in 1290, and is reputed to be the second oldest university in the world, producing many nationally and globally acclaimed academics. Immerse yourself in medieval houses "sobrado" cascading down a hillside on the east bank of the Rio Mondego: it's a multicoloured collage of buildings spanning nearly a millennium.

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