The University of Coimbra

Coimbra, this wonderful town in Portugal, is well known for its university, its ceramics and its fado music. It is a very beautiful place regardless the period of the year you visit it. For those who want to come in the town but are not quite sure of this decision, I’ll try to convince them to do that by presenting some information about the University of Coimbra, the main objective of the town. 

Generalities about the University

University ©

If you arrive in Coimbrayou should definitely see the University, the pride of the town and the most interesting attraction. The Universityof Coimbrais one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the most important institutions for higher education in Portugal. It was founded in 1290 and it has students from 70 different nationalities. For a better understanding of the importance of the university you should know that the current campus was once the Royal Palace of Coimbra. Also, due to the fact that the university is situated in top of a hill, it offers you great views of the town. Therefore, you can see the river Mondego or the bridge Ponte Europa. In the campus there are a few objectives that should not be missed. You can see here the school’s bell tower, which is visible from many parts of the city, the Patio des Escolas, the main courtyard, or the Chapel of Saint Miguel, dated from the 16th century. You can visit all that and also a library with one ticket, which costs a few Euros.

Special events that take place at the University of Coimbra

Library ©

The best time for you to visit the Universityof Coimbrais at the beginning of May, because in this time of year takes place the event “Queima das Fitas” or “The Burning of the Ribbons”. It is one of the most important student parties in Europe and it lasts eight days, one for each faculty of the University. It is organized every year at the end of the second semester by a student’s commission formed by members of the Associao Academica de Combria. This celebration symbolizes the end of the graduation courses. During Queima das Fitas many concerts and performances are held in the town. Another special event of the Coimbra’s students is “Festa das Latas” or “the Tin Can Parade”. It is organized each year at the beginning of the academic courses, in November, and it represents a homecoming parade for the new students of the University. In order to become members of the Coimbra’s academic fraternity, the new students have to march the streets of the city and then they are baptized in the Mondego River. Also, they have to tie to their legs tin cans, wear special costumes and carry placards with various messages, regarding the teachers or the educational system.

Now that you have learned something new about the University of Coimbra, you may come to study here or just visit it. Either way is a fine decision.

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