Coimbra was the capital of Portugal from 1131 to 1255. However, it is not the castle or church that towers over the entire city, as is often the case with medieval cities. The central building of Coimbra is the University and this says a lot about the character of this city.
With the move of the Portuguese capital to Lisbon, Coimbra lost some of its political importance. Instead, it gained cultural significance. The development of the University of Coimbra contributed to this. It was founded in 1290, making it the oldest university in the Portuguese-speaking world. The university itself still attracts a large number of Portuguese and international students. The university building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The university building is worth seeing during the day. However, the most interesting view of the university and Coimbra, located at its foot, can be found across the Mondego River. When the sun sets and its rays “pinken” the sky and the lights are turned on in the city, the view becomes almost romantic. That’s why Nico couldn’t contain his joy when he saw a couple of students sitting romantically on the coast. A perfect composition to capture the mood of the evening!