The city of Coimbra however is probably most famous for it's historic University, the
first to be founded in Portugal. Coimbra University was founded in 1290
and was permanently established as a school of learning in 1537.
Even today the University is highly
prestigious and provides a home to the greatest of Coimbra's monuments
and buildings most notably the renowned Baroque library.
The city also boasts two cathedrals - Se
Velha, Portugal's supreme example of the Romanesque style, and Se Nova,
a Jesuit church featuring an opulent altar, dozens of churches and lots
of ancient mansions.
Coimbra attracts thousands of visitors keen to soak up
the atmosphere and eclectic charm of it's varied architecture. However
the city has a vibrant, modern feel with a variety of bars and
restaurants and retail outlet stores within the many shopping parks
surrounding the city.
A favourite attraction many children will
enjoy visiting is the Portugal dos Pequeninos ("Portugal for the Little
Ones"), a park with child-sized models of typical Portuguese houses,
mansions, temples and palaces.
Just south of Coimbra are the Roman ruins
of Conimbriga, the largest unearthed archaeological find of its kind in
Portugal. The site was in existence in about 2.000BC, but it was in the
era of the Emperor Augustus in 25BC that the settlement really