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Coimbra and Conímbriga. Discover the oldest ruins of Portugal where Fado sings its history and
Right in the center of Portugal, known as the “city of students”, you will find Coimbra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most historic Portuguese cities, and once was the second capital of the Kingdom of Portugal.
It is believed that it was the birthplace of Coimbra that D. Afonso Henriques. Is this true or just a legend? It’s up to you.
A city that perfectly combines the tradition of history with cultural evolution, it supports its own candidacy for the European Capital of Culture for 2027.
This is a region filled with historical monuments with a strong Manueline influence in its architecture, and a symbol of academic life unique in the country: one of the oldest universities in the world.
Just over 15 kilometres from Coimbra, find the mythical village of Conímbriga.
Did you know that this is one of the richest archaeological sites in Portugal? Conímbriga originated as a Celtic city of the Conii tribe at the end of the Iron Age.
It was later occupied by the Romans, under the leadership of the famous Emperor Augustus, in the 2nd A.D.
Discover academic tradition and mythology
On this personalized tour, discover why Coimbra is the capital of academic traditions.
We will visit the university campus, where the famous Joanina Library is located. Built between 1717 and 1728, it is one of the richest libraries in Europe.
We will pass through the other emblematic monuments of the city, such as the Old Cathedral or the monastery, examples of Manueline architecture in a region loaded with medieval history.
Still in Almeida, we can visit the New Cathedral or the College of the Eleven Thousand Virgins.
Here, we pass the arches of the gate and tower of Almedina and, one of the towers that formed the circular wall that has delimited the city since the Roman occupation.
And when hunger begins to set in
At lunch, the excellent cuisine will show you that this visit was the right choice.
You don’t want to miss Bairrada’s famous roasted piglet, traditional chanfana or lamprey rice. And to accompany, how about a noble wine?
Finish in beauty with regional sweets like the pasties of Santa Clara or the acclaimed arrufadas.
With a full belly, the tour continues.
Conímbriga has a lot of charm
Get ready for a trip to the past with a visit to Conímbriga.
All set to board a train bound for the past?
On this tour you will see a wonderful world of ruins, composed of a set of buildings, which include a spa, amphitheaters, a forum, an aqueduct and even the remains of a Christian basilica.
Discover the house of Repuxos and be enchanted by the beautiful central garden, with its original hydraulic structure of more than five hundred fountains.
See story-filled mosaics of hunting scenes, mythological passages, monsters, birds, and marine animals.
Then visit the Monographic Museum as the cherry on top of this cake. See various objects found over the years which are filled with the secrets of the ancient Roman city. Get to know the history of this town.
The perfect getaway to escape the monotony
Join this trip to one of the most historic regions of Portugal.
In this private tour, which lasts about twelve hours, you will learn the oldest traditions of the city of students.
Venture through years of history in the ruins of Conímbriga and let your imagination lead your journey into a stunning past.
Book your place on this unique tour here.
For lovers of stories and tradition, this tour of Coimbra and Conímbriga is a must. Discover a land of academic traditions, where Fado sings aloud. Come and explore the queen of Roman ruins in Portugal.
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
University of Coimbra - Alta and Sofia
Situated on a hill, overlooking the city, the University of Coimbra, with its schools, has grown and developed for more than 7 centuries within the ancient city. The visit to the University of Coimbra includes the following places:
1 - Railway Gate
Entrance of the former Royal Palace to which two portals with alleged sculptures of ancient faculties (Medicine, Law, Theology and Canon Law) were approved in 1634, the founding monarch, King D. Dinis and King D. João III and Wisdom, insignia of the institution.
2 - Via Latina
Great colonnade, from the late eighteenth century, whose name recalls the old rule that forbade any language other than Latin when it was passing through it.
3 - Tower of the University of Coimbra
Ex-libris of the University and the city itself, was built during the eighteenth century, replacing the previous one, authored by John of Rouled (sixteenth century). The Italian architect who designs the work, António Cannevari, introduces it to very Italianizing Baroque aspects. The construction oversaw Portuguese Gaspar Ferreira. At the top, it features a small balcony and just below four clocks (one on each face), followed by four bells that govern academic life: a “cabra”, de 1741, o “cabrão”, de 1824, o “bolão”, de 1561 e o dos “quartos”.
4 - Monumental Stairs
As a result of the renovations to which the building was targeted, Gaspar Ferreira is given the task of recreating the communication stairs between the university and the public street.
5 - Chapel of St. Michael
Former oratory of the Royal Palace, dating from the 12th century, it is the target of major expansion works during the Manueline period, where Marcos Pires and Diogo de Castilho worked. The portal is an allegory to the political ideology of King Manuel I – it is king by divine right!
6 - Joanina Library
A unique and internationally recognized work is commonly known as the Joanina Library, since it was a work carried out in the reign of D. João V, whose large portrait by Dominico Duprá occupies the top of the interior of the library.
7 - Academic Prison
Established in 1593, in the north wing of the building, former royal prison, built by D. João I, was transferred, in 1773, to the infrastructure of the House of the Bookstore.
New Cathedral of Coimbra
Founded in 1542 by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus), it was the first faculty of the order and the largest of the city. Its objective was to prepare missionaries for all territories discovered and conquered by the Portuguese.
Old Cathedral of Coimbra
As soon as the bishopric's place is transferred from Conímbriga to Æminium, a temple will have been built. However, the only physical evidence attests to the existence of such a kind of building dates from 1117 – a date inscribed on the church's holy stone.
Church and Monastery of Santa Cruz
Founded in 1131, with the advancement and encouragement of King Afonso Henriques, for the Order of St. Augustine, it was the most influential convent house of the city, contributing to the cultural, economic, and political development of the country.
San Sebastian Aqueduct
Popularly known as "Arcos do Jardim", given its location contiguous to the Botanical Garden of the Coimbra University, this aqueduct was built in 1570 by King D. Sebastião, to supply water to the upper part of the city taking advantage of the layout of a previous Roman aqueduct.
Built in the Arch of Almedina, it had the function of protecting and defending the main access door to the interior of the wall. Its construction can be from the time of D. Sesnando (11th century) and has been renovated and remodeled several times.
Arch of Almedina
It was the main gate of the medieval wall. An older part of the door is attributed to the 9th century, being applied by two cubes joined by an arc. Its current appearance may be the result of a reform in the early sixteenth century, by order of King Manuel I.
Church of Santa Justa
The first building of the Church of Santa Justa dates to the 12th century and was located elsewhere. The present temple was opened in 1724. The façade is three stories high, flat and tanded by towers.
Roman Ruins and Conimbriga Museum
Conímbriga is one of the largest complexes of Roman ruins in the country, proving that Coimbra was first inhabited during the 8th and 9th centuries BC. In addition to the city walls, mosaics, modern river systems, thermal baths and several buildings, a museum was built on site, containing the collection of objects found during excavations.
Portugal dos Pequeninos (Optional)
Conceived by the doctor and professor Bissaya Barreto and designed by the architect Cassiano Branco, Portugal dos Pequenitos, opened to the public on June 8, 1940. It is one of the works inserted in a vast plan for the protection of children that included medical, sanitary, educational, and social assistance, carried out in the central coastal region of the country, following modern educational methods. This space is in the imagination of all the children who pass through here.
Convent of San Francisco (Optional)
The Convent of San Francisco, situated on the left side of the River Mondego, erected in the 17th century, functioned as a wool factory between 1888 and 1980.
Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha (Optional)
Founded in 1283 by D. Mor Dias, the Monastery of Santa Clara de Coimbra was delivered to the Clares shortly after. Dona Isabel de Aragão, Queen St. Elizabeth, became interested in the convent, which has since become extinct, and had new buildings built in gothic style, of which the cloister and the church stand out in 1330.
Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova (Optional)
The building is baroque style, sober and utilitarian, dotted with towers. The monastic complex, begun in 1649, replaced the primitive Monastery of the Clares, which the bed of the River Mondego had ruined.
Quinta das Lágrimas Gardens (Optional)
Old Quinta do Pombal, an agricultural farm, whose first reference arises in the 14th century.
Quinta das Lágrimas owes its name to the misadventures of the romance between Mrs. Inês de Castro and Prince D. Pedro. The romantic tragedy puts in this place the death of the beautiful Inês.
⛈️ - Weather
Exact destinations and itineraries may be changed due to weather, road conditions and the guide’s discretion. If cancelled due to poor weather, a different date or a full refund will be offered. Please check our Terms and Conditions.
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