Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal, former capital of the country during the first dinasty period and home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world.
According to the INE's census of 2001, the city proper had a population of 101,069 and the municipality had a population of 148,443 inhabitants in a 319.4 km2 land area. Over 430,000 inhabitants live in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Coimbra made of 16 municipalities comprising a 3,372 km2 territory.
It is the seat of the Centro region, as well as of the District of Coimbra and the Baixo Mondego subregion which are both located within it. Like most university cities, it comprises a large number of dislocated students from outside Coimbra among its residents.
Coimbra is one of the most important urban centers of Portugal after the much larger Lisbon Metropolitan Area and Porto Metropolitan Area conurbations, and plays a role as the chief urban centre of the central part of the country. The city contains important archeological remains of structures dating from the time when it was the Roman town of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus, as well as from the period when it served as the capital of Portugal (from 1139 to about 1260). In the Late Middle-Ages, declining as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre with the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290.
The university, one of the oldest in Europe, attracts visitors from around the world due to its monumental buildings and history, making the city an important touristic destination.