August 28, 2013

Coimbra, the ancient city situated on a hill by the river Mondego, South West of Porto. An urban center best known for its university (1537), one of the oldest in Europe but also for its monuments, churches, museums, parks and intense cultural life centered around the university. A town of contrasts between the ancient upper city  on the hill and the low city, more modern and commercial by  the river. Coimbra, jardin intérieurCoimbra’s small cloisters, hidden gems, shadowed and secluded gardens where it feels so good to sit and enjoy a peaceful moment.

Coimbra, roofs and terracesCoimbra’s red roofs and terraces, houses of all ages and architecture, blending in harmoniously below the majestic and famous university’s ancient buildings.

Coimbra, lessiveCoimbra’s narrow paved streets, trying to catch a few sunrays on a laundry day.

Coimbra, uni, 2Coimbra’s University entrance door, students in the traditional black robes; they were our guides to visit old classrooms and halls where students have been studying for centuries.

Uni Coimbra, 1The Via Latina, a long walk along the University center building where students were meant to speak in Latin only, so we were told.

Coimbra, fado concertCoimbra’s well-known cabaret “Fado ao Centro” where we sat waiting for musicians  (all students) to perform their songs  (fado) of hope, love, longing, sadness about emigrating. Songs of protest and rebellion in troubled times too.

Coimbra, folk groupCoimbra on a Saturday morning when folk groups from all over the province came into town to sell their products and crafts, pausing to sing for the visitors.

Coimbra, hibiscusCoimbra, Santa Clara quartier, away from the busy city, the prestigious monuments and buildings. A little house on the hill, shutters closed to keep away the midday sun, a deserted terrace illuminated by a flamboyant bush of hibiscus.


14 Responses to “Coimbra”

  1. Isa, what gorgeous pictures. Such a lovely place to visit. You must have felt in heaven at times. Such an adventure. The photographs are excellent. I really enjoyed looking at the pics of your travels.

    • Yvonne, always so quick to visit and give me such encouraging comments. It is not difficult to take nice pictures in such beautiful places. Many thanks, dear Yvonne. I will be away for a few days but will visit you soon too.

  2. sonali said

    Beautiful place this is. You have been travelling to such wonderful places.. what does your travel experience say? I’d love to hear more about the people you met, the cuisines, the weather, the lifestyle & a lot more.. I love Europe!!!

    • Dear sonali-from-so-far-away, when I come back from a long weekend, I will choose more photos from my travel in Portugal to share my “coups de coeur” – favorites, particular moments – and share them with you. Thank you for always being there.

  3. Sartenada said

    Je suis heureux que vous avez présenté ces photos. Elles louent toute la beauté de la ville Coimbra que semble être intéressant pour une visite. Peut-être un jour …

    Vous pourriez peut-être me pardonner quand je veux que vous pourriez voir un poste très personnel à moi. C’est ici: Marathon de Mille Lacs . Un grand merci pour votre gentillesse.

    Belle journée.

  4. sybil said

    What an incredible sense of history. I’m trying to imagine a University founded in the 1500’s. Just amazing.

  5. Your photos are awe-inspiring as are the explanations. Thank you for sharing and taking us along on this wonderful journey!

  6. Tammy said

    This looks beautiful. Why do they sing sad songs of emigrating?

    • Hello Tammy ! Emigration has been part of Portuguese history for centuries. Parting with one’s family, loved ones, friends to start a new life abroad is not always easy. Portuguese have this special “fado” music and songs to express their sadness, longing and love that moves you very much.

  7. Kathy said

    this would be such a lovely place to visit. So much looks so old in Europe. So enchanting.

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