This short English version has been translated by Cody Hanson*
The city is divided into two general sections. The upper section is comprised of the walled city, where the university is located (“a alta”). The lower section of the city is called “a baixa”.
The upper section of the city is probably the most interesting, especially the area where the university is located. There are ancient buildings decorated with tiles depicting numerous scenes, such as the image to the right from the 16th century.
The “Baixa” is also worth exploring. While it is a somewhat depressed area, it has interesting churches and historic buildings. They are also interesting houses, such as the one to the left. During the work week it is fun to see the goods decorating storefronts.
The “Baixa” is also full of evocative corners, some of them hidden. For example, the store of the Chinese (“Loja chinesa”) of the Commerce Square is located in the building of the city’s former Royal Hospital. It is worth looking into it to see the stone arches and the remains of some frescoes (image to the right).
Try to visit the Baixa during the week and before 7:00 p.m. (during the weekend almost everything is closed). If you go at night, it is best to go in a group since the area is depressed due to the economic crisis.
The center of the city, with the University, is found in the center square section that can be located by following the coordinates D4.
Coimbra is a city with many hills and stairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes. In the image to the left are the Monumental Stairs (Escadas Monumentais) from which the University may be reached.
Coimbra is a humid city due to the Mondego River. The city’s climate is somewhat unpredictable. During the winter it may rain and be cold. Be prepared with warm clothing and an umbrella. Elegant umbrellas, with the University seal, may be purchased at the tourist information center located in the General Library of the University. However, given that the climate is so unpredictable, the sun and heat are also a possibility.
* This Short English Version had been traslated by Cody Hanson, based on Leonor Zozaya’s Spanish version of the texts. Cody Hanson (Ph.D) is Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Indiana State University.