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GARDENS, MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS | RESTAURANTS AND PUBS    

 

GARDENS

 

Sá da Bandeira Gardens
This is situated in the middle of the Avenida Sá da Bandeira, and was begun as part of an 1885 project for the urbanisation of the Quinta de Santa Cruz, which included a public walkway with gardens.

Quinta das Lágrimas Gardens
This owes its name to the ill-starred love between the lady-in-waiting Inês de Castro and Prince Pedro. The romantic tragedy makes this the scene of Inês death.
The “Fountain of Love” is documented shortly after the death of Inês and is now situated in a park with ancient trees, mediaeval and neo-gothic ruins, ponds and water-courses.


Penedo da Saudade
Its where the Presidency of Polytechnic of Coimbra is located.
This rocky promontory with its gardens, once known as the Pedra dos Ventos (Stone of the Winds), owes its name (Rock of Longing) to the tradition that Prince Pedro often went there to weep for the loss of his beloved Inês.
In the 20th century, during course reunions & other student occasions, it became the custom to fix here a stone plaque with commemorative verses, particularly in the part known as the Sala dos Cursos. Along the paths, busts of Portuguese writers, such as António Nobre and Eça de Queirós, commemorate their connection with Coimbra

Santa Cruz Park/ Jardim da Sereia
Popularly known as the Sereia (Mermaid) Garden, this dates from the 18th century and was once part of the grounds of the Santa Cruz Monastery.
The entrance is a triumphal arch topped by 3 statues representing Faith, Hope and Charity, flanked by 2 turrets with baroque decoration, leading to an open area with a scenic fountain at the end

Botanic Garden
The Garden was an integral part of the Faculty of Natural Philosophy and was created during the Marquis of Pombal’s reform of the University in 1773. Only completed in the 19th century, its exuberant vegetation reflects botanical studies and contacts with the four corners of the earth.

Dr. Manuel Braga Park
Also known as the City Park (Parque da Cidade), it was planned in the 1920s by the landscape gardener Jacinto de Matos. The bandstand was designed by Silva Pinto. Among its statues are a bust of Antero de Quental by Diogo de Macedo, and a romantic evocation of the poet Florbela Espanca by the Galician sculptor Armando Jesus Martinez.

Parque Verde do Mondego (Mondego Green Park)
This was designed by the architect Camilo Cortesão and was part of the Polis improvement programme for the two banks of the river; it was opened in 2004.
In this large green space there are bars, restaurants, a children’s play area, pavilions for temporary exhibitions and the Central Portugal Pavilion designed by Souto Moura and Álvaro Siza Vieira. The Pedro and Inês pedestrian bridge, designed by Adão Fonseca and Cecil Balmond links the two sides of the river.

Choupal National Forest
Immortalised in poems and in Coimbra fado, the Forest has long been a favourite local spot for many kinds of leisure and sporting activities. Here there are fine examples of tree species such as poplar, plane, black walnut and swamp cedar.

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MUSEUMS


Memorial to Sister Lúcia (Memorial da Irmã Lúcia)
The Memorial is next to the Carmelite Convent of St Teresa; here visitors can see objects used or made by Sister Lúcia throughout her life.

Machado de Castro National Museum
The Museum’s buildings were declared a national monument in 1910. The former Bishop’s Palace was built on top of the cryptoporticus – the foundation of the forum of the Roman city of Aeminium. Dating from the 1st century AD, this is most important surviving Roman building in Portugal.

Science Museum (Museu da Ciência)
In this space it is possible to get to know collections of scientific instruments of the University of Coimbra, as well as to conduct several experiments and activities that seek to involve the visitors.

 

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MONUMENTS

St Sebastian Aqueduct
Dating from the 17th century, it followed the structure, and probably made use of the remains, of a former aqueduct from Roman times.

Almedina Arch (Arco de Almedina)
This was the main gateway of the medieval city wall. Its oldest part dates from the 9th century, and originally consisted of two turrets linked by an arch.
Read More .

Santa Cruz Church – National Pantheon
The monastery was begun in 1131 under the patronage of Dom Afonso Henriques, and given to the order of Augustinian Canons.

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova
Baroque but sober and utilitarian in style, the building is adorned with small turrets.

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha
This convent was founded in 1283 by the Abbess Dona Mor Dias, and given to Clarisse nuns shortly afterwards.

The Patio of the Inquisition (Pátio da Inquisição)
This owes its name to the group of buildings, of historical and architectural interest, where the Holy Office of the Inquisition functioned from 1566 until it was suppressed in 1821.

Young People’s Portugal (Portugal dos Pequenitos)
This park, the initiative of doctor Bissaya Barreto and designed by the architect Cassiano Branco, was opened in 1940.

New Cathedral (Sé Nova)
The church belonged to the Jesuits until they were expelled from Portugal in 1759. Work commenced in 1598, but the church was only consecrated in 1640.

Old Cathedral (Sé Velha)
Designed by the French master Robert, its exterior is sturdy and symmetrical, with narrow window-slits and crenellated roof.

Almedina Tower (Torre de Almedina)
This was built above the Almedina Arch, probably at the time of Dom Sesnando (11th century), and modified many times over the centuries.

University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in Europe. Founded in Lisbon by King Dinis in 1290, it was finally transferred to Coimbra in 1537, occupying the buildings of the medieval royal Palace.

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