Rally FICC (14 to 18 April 2022)                             70th Youth Rally

Touristic Theme Park Portugal dos Pequenitos

Portugal dos Pequenitos opened doors for the first time on June 8th 1940, and is a touristic theme park, with educational purpose, conceived by Bissaya Barreto and designed by the architect Cassiano Branco. It contains small-scaled replica of the most important architectural elements of the Portugal History, such as monuments, typical regional houses, museums among others. This is the oldest theme park in the country, and one of the oldest in the world.

For more information, visit Portugal dos Pequenitos

Monuments New Cathedral

Located at the old Jesuit College, the New Cathedral occupies the Mannerist building which was built by the Society of Jesus at the upper town. The outline of the building has gone through many issues since 1547, which include advancements, retreats and alterations on the floor plan. Finally, in 1598, the foundation stone of the Baltazar Álvares (the architect to whom the outline is attributed) project was laid down. Construction works would drag on until 1640, the year in which the church dedicated to the Eleven Thousand Virgins was opened. After Marquis of Pombal expelled the Jesuits from Portugal in 1759, the College was abandoned and, in 1772, the Cathedral Chapel moved into the space because the old Romanesque building was becoming insufficient to perform the opulent liturgical rites. The interior of the temple is cross-shaped, covered with a sturdy vault, with pulpits near the centre of the church, usual in Counter-Reformation architecture.

For more information, visit Sé Nova

Monuments Old Cathedral

The present temple has its origin in the second half of the XII century, and it was officially open to public worship in 1184. Designed by the French master Robert, its exterior is sturdy and symmetrical, with narrow window-slits and crenelated roof.

The main doorway shows obvious Islamic influence, while the side door, known as the “Porta Especiosa” (Beautiful Door), attributed to João de Ruão, has elegant Renaissance decoration.

On the inside, along the side naves, it is possible to observe the triforium, the shallow arched galleries. Special attention for the altarpiece in the chancel, an absolute masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic, from 1498, conceived by Flemish sculptors Olivier de Gand e Jean d’Ypres.

For more information, visit Sé Velha

Monuments University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded in 1290, in Lisboa, by Dom Dinis, and permanently transferred by the king to Coimbra in 1537. During the kingdoms of Dom João V and Dom José I, this institution has undergone major reforms, not only educational level, but also with the construction of new buildings, baroque and neo-classical style.

The University has three major campuses, eight Faculties, eighteen museums, one Botanical Garden and a the important sports stadium Estádio Universitário de Coimbra.

For more information, visit Universidade de Coimbra

Monuments Conímbriga

Inhabited since pre-Historic times, Conímbriga was occupied by Roman troops in 139 BC and it became the prosperous capital city of the Lusitania province. In the next century, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the urban part of the city grew. It was during this period that some of the most important buildings for everyday life in a Roman city were build such as the forum, the amphitheatre and the thermal baths. Later, a three-nave basilica was built in the town’s centre.

However, Conímbriga’s domestic design, which was developed and renovated especially between late 1st century and early 3rd century, was noted for the building of insulae and lavish domus. Conímbriga owes its charm precisely to these houses which carve in stone.

For more information, see Conímbriga

Gardens and Green Areas Quinta das Lágrimas Gardens

Quinta das Lágrimas owes its name to the ill-starred love between the lady-in-waiting Inês de Castro and Prince Pedro.

The Fonte dos Amores (Fontaine of the Lovers) appears documented near after the deaf of Inês de Castro, and it takes part of a beautiful garden, full of centuries-old trees, medieval and neo-Gothic ruins, and fresh water springs and streams.

More information at Jardim das Lágrimas

Cultural Map Coimbra

If “Coimbra is a lesson”, as the popular fado song says, Coimbra is firstly a lesson of Portuguese History. Here is the grave of Kings Afonso Henriques and Sancho I, the first Portuguese Kings and, all over the city, you will discover landmarks left by those who built the nation, whether they are the outbuildings of the University, created by King D. Dinis, or the monuments you should mandatorily visit, of which the contributions of King John III, the Marquis of Pombal and King Manuel stand out. From the magnificent scale of the Joanine Library to the symbolism of the Santa Cruz convent, the old capital of the Kingdom is full of heritage from the past. It is, without a doubt, a lesson on tradition. There is no other Portuguese city like Coimbra in what comes to academic tradition which is present in the students’ everyday life. At Queima das Fitas, the students celebrate the most anticipated event of the year. The bells which have been regulating academic life since the 16th century still toll in the University Tower, reminding us that this is, above all, a university city.

And because there’s nothing as passionate as youth, Coimbra is also a lesson in romance. It is the city of poets and fado, where in every corner lived a great author and it is also the land of Inês de Castro and King Peter, two historical figures who lived the most famous and probably the most tragic love story in Portuguese History. To discover Quinta das Lágrimas (The Farm of Tears), soak your feet in the Mondego River and cross the Peter e Inês Bridge or to explore the exuberant Buçaco wood is to discover the “Portuguese Capital of Love”.

Apart from the “Beautiful Inês” narrative, you can also discover the life of another woman closely linked with Coimbra, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, the patron of the city and founder of the Santa Clara Monastery, the devoted wife of King D. Dinis played an important role in politics in her time and helped keeping the peace of the realm. The tale of the Saint Queen and the Miracle of the Roses perpetuated her image as a kind sovereign in popular devotion and she is still a key figure in the History and life of Coimbra.

But the identity of the city is also built by men and women today who bring old streets to life by appreciating the food and wine of the area or by enjoying the medicinal waters of Luso or Cúria. Follow their example. Come and discover Portugal in Coimbra and learn, among other things, how to say “saudade”.

      Cultural Map

More information at Turismo de Portugal/Coimbra

Find more about what to do in Coimbra Cultural