World Heritage #1387 – University of Coimbra

Last modified 14.04.2024 | Published 05.07.2013Portugal, Southern Europe, World Heritage Sites

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The university of Coimbra, a town in central Portugal has deep roots and a splendid view of the river below.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full title of site: University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia
  • Country: Portugal
  • Date of Inscription: 2013
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 264:

“Situated on a hill overlooking the city, the University of Coimbra with its colleges grew and evolved over more than seven centuries within the old town. Notable university buildings include the 12th century Cathedral of Santa Cruz and a number of 16th century colleges, the Royal Palace of Alcáçova, which has housed the University since 1537, the Joanine Library with its rich baroque decor, the 18th century Botanical Garden and University Press, as well as the large “University City” created during the 1940s.

The University’s edifices became a reference in the development of other institutions of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world where it also exerted a major influence on learning and literature. 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.”

My visit

I visited the monastery in 2013. This is an excerpt from my blog entry:

We found the old buildings more interesting than the edifices erected in the 1950’s in a rather heavy fascist style. In addition to tour groups there were actually students attending summer classes, making this more than a museum even in early July.

Read more about my visit. 

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