Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world.
According to the 2011 Census, provided by the Portuguese Instituto Nacional de Estatística, the city proper had a resident population of 150,000 . The city of Coimbra is one of the most important urban centres in Portugal (after the much larger cities of Lisbon and Porto, playing a central role in the northern-central littoral and interior of the country. It is the principal centre in the Centro region, the District of Coimbra and the Baixo Mondego subregion, and the third biggest and most important city in the country.
There are many archaeological structures which date back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra served as the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. During the Late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre, helped by the university finally established there in 1537. The university, one of the oldest in Europe, apart from attracting many European and international students, is visited by tourists for its monuments and history.
The historical University buildings have been classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013: "Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages."
History and landmarks