about THE university of coimbra
5-STAR QS UNIVERSITY RATING
The University of Coimbra is the oldest Portuguese university and for centuries was the only university in Portugal.
The University of Coimbra is the oldest Portuguese university and for centuries was the only university in Portugal. Founded in Lisbon in 1290 by King Dinis, it was permanently established in Coimbra in 1537, by order of King João III, after a period of migration between these two cities. The university was to be based in Sofia Street, which opened specifically to accommodate it near the Monastery of Santa Cruz, but it was in the Royal Palace of the “Alcáçova”, later the Palace of Schools, that all the faculties of the University of Coimbra – Theology, Canons, Law and Medicine – began their work in 1544. This is the image recorded in the Portuguese collective imagination and has been the indelible mark of the city and its university ever since.
For centuries, the city and the University were shaped in a deep symbiosis, clearly visible in our days when we appreciate the relationship between the various cores of Alta (the higher city). The Palace of Schools, the historic centre par excellence of the University, holds a part of the whole – here we perceive the traditions and mystique that make it unique in the world. Inseparable from the city that hosts it, it exudes the legacy of centuries, projected in time, connecting the past and the future.
The College of Jesus, created here in 1542, is the oldest Jesuit College in the world. It became the teaching space of sciences at the University of Coimbra after the educational reforms introduced by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772. It is now one of the major references in the history of science in Portugal. In June 2013, UNESCO classified the University of Coimbra as a World Heritage Site for its unquestionable value in the history and culture of Portugal, thus rewarding the effort and dedication of those who every day work to preserve, enhance and especially share its heritage with the world.
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