The city got its existence dated back to 11th century. The city was founded in 1131 and till then it remains as the great cultural centre. One of the oldest centres for learning in Portugal was founded by the King Dinis in 13th August 1290. Coimbra served as Portugal s capital from 1143, when Afonso Henriques settled there, until 1255 when Afonso III moved the capital to Lisbon, where it remains toda. Six of Portugal s Kings were born here and in 1139 until 1256 it was the chosen capital of the country. The original name in the Roman period was Aeminium, and it later developed under the influence of the greater nearby town of Conimbriga.
It has a large archaeological site with extensive ruins dating from the time it was a Roman town called Aeminium. One of the Romanesque style cathedrals, Se Velha, built in the 12th century worth visit more than all the old buildings from the university dating back from the 15th century through the 18th century. The 12th century Monastery of Santa Cruz with tombs of first two Portuguese kings, 17th century new cathedral, and the Machado de Castro museum,are the second most important one in the Portugal after the old art National Museum in Lisbon. The city also consists of the Coimbra general library which is the second largest after the National library in Lisbon, and the Botanical garden of the University of Coimbra from the 18th century. Today it is divided into main areas that are The Alta (also known as the upper town) and The Baixa (often referred to as the lower town).
The Easter is the best time for tourist wants to visit the city of Coimbra. The city blazes with light for the entire week and there is torchlight procession of hooded participants. Tourist can have the better and detailed information from the tourist office about the Easter and other vents and attraction around the city.
The city has a very pleasant weather for tourist. There are no extremes in weather conditions. The temperature in winter goes down to 7.2 degree Celsius while the summer not being too hot with a maximum temperature of 27.95 degree Celsius. The average rainfall is very high in Coimbra and the rainfall range lies between 18.0 to 486.0 mm/month. Many people consider the weather of Coimbra before planning a trip.
The Coimbra has number of railway Stations for the trains going to and coming from different places. The main stations for the regional train is Coimbra station A. Tourist can find the information for local train at Tel-239 834 998. The Coimbra Staion B, this is the hub for those trains coming from outside the region. It is a 5-minute ride north of Coimbra. Coimbra Parque Station in the south-east connects the town to the south. Seventeen trains daily make the 2-hour or 3-hour 20 min run between Lisbon and Coimbra. Hourly trains to Porto take 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours. At least one train connects Coimbra to the coastal town of Figueira da Foz. It takes an hour and costs around EUR 1.45 one-way. The central Coimbra is closed to cars so beware of this.
There are Sixt een buses daily running between Lisbon and Coimbra and takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. 7-12 buses a day run between Coimbra and Porto. It takes between 90 mins and 2 hours 45 mins depending on the type of bus.
The city with different beautiful places for visitors makes them happy. City's botanical garden is the most beautiful place created by The Marquis of Pombal. The garden, with many rare species has a vast collection of ornamental features such as statues and fountain. Anto Tower- It was part of the city´s fortified walls, but stopped being used for military purposes in the 15th century and was adapted to receive lodgers. Antonio Nobre, a famous Portuguese poet, was its most known resident. Celas Monastery- Founded in the 13th century, the restoration works in the 16th and 18th centuries altered the original layout, except for the Church, of circular shape, the Choir, the Chapterhouse and the Cloister. Holy cross Church of 1131 lodged the Augustine friars.
15th to 18th century was the period for the construction of the new building, a number of building were added and the city became an important cultural centre of art and literature. The single nave leads to the main chapel containing the tombs of the first two kings of Portugal, Afonso Henriques and Sancho I, and also Gothic sculptures; the main body of the church dates from the first half of the 16th century and the vault was designed by Boitac. This exhibits Baroque tiles panel of Lisbon depicting the Holy Crossand the life of st. Augustine.
The city's large student population guarantees an active, sometimes raucous, night-life. You'll find the bars around the Se Velha and its square, Largo da Se Velha, packed with students, professors, and locals, who drink, gossip, and discuss academic priorities. My favourite experience is hopping randomly from bar to bar. But unfortunately the majority of night-life that exists in Coimbra takes place at the top of the hills that enfold the city.
To the right bank of Mondego River, the city is situated on the hill, the university crowding its summit. Dated back to the 16th century, main buildings of the old university, set around a courtyard are dominated by a Baroque clock tower and a statue of Joao III looking remarkably like Henry VIII. Just down of unprepossessing Se Nova (New Cathdral) and below the university, a good first stop is the place Museu Machado de Castro. This museum named after 18th century sculptor housed a former archbishop place, and it will be worth visiting even in its own right if it were empty. The Se Velha (Old Cathedral), halfway down the hill, is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Portugal, little altered and seemingly unbowed by the years.
Restraint and simplicity certainly aren't the chief qualities of the Igreja de Santa Cruz, at the bottom of the hill past the city gates. Although it was founded before the Old Cathedral, nothing remains that has not been substantially remodelled. It was in Santa Cruz that Dom Pedro had his court pay homage to the corpse of Joao de Castro, which had laid in the now ruined Convento de Santa Clara-a-Velha across the river, alongside the convent's founder, Saint-Queen Isabel. During the 18th century city was the site for a site for the major sculptural school.
The finest works of the sites includes new tombs of Portugal's first kings, Afonso Henriques and Sancho I, and the elaborately carved pulpit, are among its very finest works.