Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal, former capital of the country during the first dynastic period and home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. The University attracts visitors from around the world due to its monumental buildings and history, making the city an important tourist destination.


Coimbra is one of the most important urban centers of Portugal after the much larger Lisbon Porto Metropolitan Areas, and plays a role as the chief urban centre of the central part of the country. The city contains archeological remains 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.