University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra was created by King Dinis signing “Scientiae Thesaurus Mirabilis” dated from 1290 and established by Papal Bull of Nicholas IV. It is the oldest university of Portugal and one of the oldest in the world. It also operated in Lisbon but, in 1308, it was transferred to Coimbra, alternating between the two cities until 1537, when it is definitely settled in Coimbra, the city of river Mondego. The University of Coimbra is home to 
Biblioteca Joanina (the ancient Library) established in the 18th century and considered one of the most beautiful university libraries in the world. The library holds over 250,000 books dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries, dealing mainly with civil and canon law, theology and philosophy. Coimbra city boasts the largest botanical gardens of Portugal and one of the most beautiful in Europe. The garden, dedicated to the study and protection of plants and wild life, was established in the 18th century (more info).

Initially confined to the Royal Palace, the University spread throughout the city of Coimbra, while modifying its landscape and making of it the University City. It later enlarged with the creation of Campus II, dedicated to Engineering and Technology, and with a third campus devoted to Life Sciences. The University of Coimbra is also among the major science and technology hubs for applied and fundamental research in Portugal, home to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country.

With over seven centuries, the University of Coimbra has a unique tangible and intangible heritage, keystone in the scientific culture of Europe and the World and was granted in 2013 UNESCO’s World Heritage status.

The University of Coimbra is at present an example of dynamism in its constant search for improving the management, research and the pedagogic models used, as well as an increasing link with the community by contributing more and more to the improvement of science, technique and to the affirmation that culture is an essential element in people's lives. It occupies various areas in the city, with its eight faculties, half a score research centres, an Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, structures for the encouragement of entrepreneurship and of connection to the management field, a university stadium, the Science Museum, the Gil Vicente Academic Theatre, the Botanical Garden, structures of support for students (dormitories, university restaurants, bars, study areas, centres for social contact) and the biggest academy in the country (more info).