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Discovers The Oldest Ruins Of Portugal In Coimbra And Conímbriga, Where Fado Sings Its History

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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.

Almedina Tower

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.

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WHAT TO EXPECT

  • 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.

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Private tour.
  • Free Pick-up and Drop-off.
  • Optional sight-seeing stops along the way.
  • Certified Tourist Driver.
  • English; French; Spanish or Portuguese Speaking drivers with local knowledge.
  • Chauffer style with code dress.
  • Local tips and information - Our friendly drivers are locals and are happy to share their insights or give tips on what to do at your destination.
  • Free water bottles.
  • Extra amenities.
  • Free internet

WHAT IS EXCLUDED

  • Tips - Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip.
  • Admissions to venues and attractions along the route.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

⛈️ - 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.

  • Smoke free.
  • Personal accident and liability insurance included.
  • Luggage - Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, please inform us.
  • Big luggage - 29x21x11 inches / 74x54x28 cm
  • Small luggage - 22x14x9 inches / 56x36x23 cm

Operated by Endless Weekend Tours ®

What do I need to bring?

  • Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and sunscreen if it’s sunny or a raincoat and an umbrella if it’s raining.
  • Don’t forget your camera!
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INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE TOUR OPERATOR

  • Room
  • Hotel/Pick Up - Drop Off Location

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