Coimbra is the city boasting the oldest universities of southern Portugal. Sitting over the high banks of Mondego River, it also houses the highest amount of students in those universities. It is a cluster of a rich ensemble of buildings, also shining the finest and oldest libraries of all times. It has a handsome collection of monasteries and majestic churches, being one of the busiest commercial hubs all around Portugal.
University of Coimbra
It is the oldest and the very first university Coimbra houses and it has been named as the world heritage site. It is situated on the highest hill in the middle of the city. I took the tour to the University, which by the way is free of cost. It is capable of drawing you to itself as it has got 100 years of history to show off. It had to climb over 180 steps of the University to get an inexplicable perspective of the city. I also took a tour of the student’s prison, where they were locked up for being unruly.
This is one of the most esteemed libraries, which is Baroque’s and is situated on the Paco Das Escolas, which once housed the earliest kings of Portugal. This has been coming from the 1720s and the architecture is unbelievably beautiful, you have to see it yourself to believe it. More than 250,000 volumes are boasted in this library dating way back from the 1500s to 1700s. The most intriguing thing I saw a colony of bats which is maintained to eat any insects that might harm the books.
Pedro e Inês Bridge
This bridge was built in 2007 and if you’re going for a walking tour like me, you must go through the bridge. It holds a very cool and clever design. It doesn’t meet in the middle, but there are two walkways which join in the middle to give you a more wide viewing bridge.