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                              Coimbra

   

 

 Lying on the banks of the Mondego river,Coimbra is crowned by the university buildings perched atop Aláçova hill. The city´s foundations go back into misty prehistory, but it became Roman Aeminium before taking the name Coimbra from the Roman settlement of Conimbriga close by.

The buzz of city life is highly charged whilst the students are in residence, with something going on somewhere almost all the time. Outside term time a much quieter ambience prevails. The usual form of lodging, which has survived down the centuries, is in repúblicas, where a group of students share furnished accommodation. Coimbra’s greatest contribution to traditional folk music is the soulful and expressive musical art form, Fado. This style of singing is an instinctive expression, which springs from the soul in the form of a lament about love, longing, life, etc., and a lone voice can often be heard winging through the night.

Approaching Coimbra from the Santa Clara side of the Mondego river, across the bridge of the same name, affords the best overall view of the old city. What remains of the city’s medieval past clings tenaciously to the steep gradients below. Walking is the only way to absorb the sights and sounds of this fascinating city. Evening, especially, can be very atmospheric and a different experience again from a daytime jaunt over the same ground. Distance is not a problem, as the centre is fairly compact, but the steep inclines may be a deterrent to some. To the right of Largo de Portagem is the helpful Turismo, who supply a good map and can advise on other hotels and residencials close by. Artesanato (craft) shops lining the way provide plenty of excuse for stops on upward haul.

Around Coimbra are still wonderful cities like: Figueira da Foz, Conimbriga, Curia, Montemor-o-velho...it is well worthy to stay here and visit all this area for five to six days. Don’t miss it out!

  

 
 


Portugal: travel around and find out the essence of the Land!