Coimbra, Portugal’s capital of love.
Located in the center of Portugal, this historical city is known for its century-old university and the beautiful love and tragical story of Pedro e Inês.
We came here to study, we fell in love for the city and we still haven’t left.
The University of Coimbra is one of the biggest universities of Portugal and is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2013. It was founded in 1290 by King D. Dinis and is the alma mater of some 37 000 students. It is divided in faculties according to the area of studies (Medicine, Arts and Humanities, Science and Technology, Pharmacy, Economics, Psychology and Education Sciences, Sports and Physical Education) with campuses spread throughout the city. It’s students wear a traditional academic attire (traje académico) that tends to remind everyone of the robes wore in the Harry Potter series – some say that Rowling actually got inspired by these outfits when writing the books. You can check them on the video below:
The Fado de Coimbra, typical musical genre born in Portugal, is connected to the academic traditions, as it is also sung in many tunas académicas. Although a melancholic type of music, it conveys the feeling of saudade – an untranslatable Portuguese word that means something between nostalgia and yearning for something.
Every corner is Coimbra has it’s special charm, full of history and traditions. It was the stage of the forbidden romance of D. Pedro, the son of the King D. Afonso IV and D. Constança’s husband, and Inês de Castro, D. Constança’s maid. D. Pedro and Inês de Castro lived a secret romance in the gardens of Quinta das Lágrimas and after the death of D. Constança, they consummated their marriage and had three children. For years they lived in Paços de Santa Clara, but the rising censorship by the father of D. Pedro, D. Afonso IV, led to the execution of Inês de Castro. This made D. Pedro start a revolution against his father, assassinating him, and tearing off the heart of Inês de Castro’s two assassins. D. Pedro and Inês de Castro were laid to rest in front of one another so that they may see each other once again when they resurrect.
To honor this couple, a bridge was built to join Coimbra’s Mondego river banks. The bridge’s ends start off at misaligned and join together in the center of the river.