Showing posts from January, 2013

Coimbra, across River Mondego

3 April 2012 It was a cloudy day. Our hotel Avenida is close to the railway station. Along the way are beautiful historical buildings. Unfortunately, the sun was hiding, strengthening the melancholy of the country. Unlike Porto, everything relates to tourism is not free. Coimbra Tourist Infomaration is not as generous as Porto to the tourists. Perhaps, it needs money to restore the town and fund the university.  Our activity of the first half day took place at the opposite shore.  A leisure stroll along the river Mondego , across the opposite shore.  The first striking monument is Gothic style Santa Clara-a-Velha , a convent rebuilt for Queen Santa Isabel in 14th century.  Its lower position rendered it to frequent floods and was abandoned in 17th century.  The ruin was excavated in the late 20th century.  After 12 years of restoration it is opened to the public recently.  We ascended to the convent replacing Santa Clara-a-Velha, the Santa Clara-a-nova , to hous

Coimbra - University, Cathedrals and Jardim Bonânico

4 April 2012 Coimbra is a famous university town in Portugal. It's also the oldest, a town with honor, shares the nationhood, once a capital made by King Alfonso and strong association with history. With IC train it takes about 1 hour 10 minutes from Porto to Coimbra B. Then one has to take a connecting train to the town centre. The distance is 2 kilometres. Our second day was blessed with sunshine, superb to appreciate the city with the university atop.  The clock tower at the university square can be seen everywhere.  The university was first established in Lisbon but transferred to Coimbra King Alfonso Palace in 1537.  Study was very limited, mostly theology, medicine and law but broadened by the reform from Pombal in 1770s.  Many buildings were replaced in 1940s.  But the halls around the Patio das Escolas have been standing over 700 years. Visiting the patio is free.  But you will want to see the interior.  There are different types of tickets entitling you to see