Coimbra: What to Do and Where to Go?

Coimbra lies between Oporto and Lisbon. The city is famous for the university which is the oldest one in the country. However, as a tourist, there are plenty of attractions to check out.  If you are visiting Coimbra for the first time, there are a few things that you check out.

University of Coimbra

This is one of the oldest ones that you will find in Europe. It draws a lot of tourists every year. The university shows off a hundred years of history. Climb up the 180 steps to reach the tower. This is the highest point of this place.  I also visited Sala dos Capelos; this is the seventeenth-century ceremonial hall. Do not forget to check out the great ensemble on Paco das Escolas courtyard.

Biblioteca Joanina

This is a popular library in the city. It is to be found in Paco das Escolas and was the residence of one of the earliest king from Portugal. There are three large salons inside the library and is bound by monumental doors. There are large lacquered shelves in each of the salons. I came to learn that there are over 250,000 volumes in the library related to law, history, geography, and science.

Monastery of Santa Cruz

This is one of the earliest Portuguese monasteries and dates back to 12th century. However, the architecture had been done later on. The big story about the monastery is that it has the tombs of the first two kings of Portugal. They used to reign during the 12th century.

Old Cathedral

Romanesque cathedral had been established when Coimbra as the frontier between Islam and Christianity. I felt as if I am at the boundary between the worlds when I came close to this austere façade. The interior showcases the great age of the building.