Coimbra Municipality

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Coordinates: 40°13′31.69″N 8°27′8.24″W / 40.2254694°N 8.4522889°W / 40.2254694; -8.4522889
Coimbra
Municipality (Concelho)
Coimbra-MondegoPanorama.jpg
Vista of the parish of Santa Clara, showing the Mondego River across from the emblematic University Hill
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Coimbra
Name origin: Portuguese transliteration of the Latin colimbria, for the Roman civitas Aeminium, which means top of the hill
Country Portugal
Region Centro
Sub-region Baixo Mondego
District Coimbra
Municipality Coimbra
Civil Parishes 18 (list)
River Mondego
Center Santa Cruz
 - elevation 19 m (62 ft)
 - coordinates 40°13′31.69″N 8°27′8.24″W / 40.2254694°N 8.4522889°W / 40.2254694; -8.4522889
Highest point
 - elevation 489 m (1,604 ft)
Lowest point Mondego
 - elevation 16 m (52 ft)
 - coordinates 40°11′49.73″N 8°33′34.37″W / 40.1971472°N 8.5595472°W / 40.1971472; -8.5595472
Length 26.41 km (16 mi), Northwest-Southeast
Width 20.49 km (13 mi), North-South
Area 319.4 km2 (123 sq mi)
Population 143,052 (2011 Decrease)
Density 448 / km2 (1,160 / sq mi)
Settlement fl. 456
 - Municipality c. 1179
LAU Concelho/Câmara Municipal
 - location Praça 8 de Maio
 - coordinates 40°12′40″N 8°25′45″W / 40.21111°N 8.42917°W / 40.21111; -8.42917
President João Paulo Barbosa de Melo (PSD/CDS-PP/PPM)
Municipal Chair Manuel Porto (PSD/CDS-PP/PPM)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 3000-300
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 292 XX XX XX
Demonym Coimbrense; Conimbricense; Coimbrão
Patron Saint Rainha Santa Isabel
Municipal Holidays 4 July
Location of the municipality of Coimbra in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Coimbra
Statistics: Instituto Nacional de Estatística[1]
Website: http://www.cm-coimbra.pt
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[2] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Coimbra is a municipality in central Portugal, whose core is the city of Coimbra. It is in the district of Coimbra, being the principal centre in the Centro region, the seat of the Baixo Mondego subregion and former capital of Portugal during the Middle Ages. According to the 2011 Census the municipality had a population of 143,052 inhabitants (from which about 100,000 in the city proper), covering an area of 319.4 square kilometres (123.3 sq mi), while over 430,000 people live in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Coimbra, comprising 16 municipalities and extending into an area 3,372 square kilometres (1,302 sq mi). Apart from Lisbon and Porto, Coimbra is one of the most important urban centres in Portugal playing a central role in the development of the northern-central littoral and interior.

Its history and role is based on its earliest settlement, dating back to the Roman era centre of Aeminium and developing from its role as cultural, educational, religious and administrative centre during the Middle Ages. From its early settlement on the hilltop overlooking the Mondego River, Coimbra began to evolve its influence and control occupying a central place in the interior of Portugal.

History[edit]

The old Sé Cathedral, seat of the bishopric of Aeminium which was moved from the sacked older Roman town of Conímbriga
Refounded in 1314 by Queen Elizabeth of Portugal as a convent of Poor Clares in the parish of Santa Clara
Rural life in the periphery and parishes of Coimbra around 1839, seen from the fields of São Martinho do Bispo

Coimbra's toponymy came from its earliest settlement as the civitas Aeminium, a name derived from the early settlement's topography: o meneiu means hilltop. It fell under the influence, administratively, of the larger Roman villa of Conimbriga (in Condeixa-a-Nova), until the latter was sacked by the Sueves and Visigoths between 569 and 589 and abandoned.[3] Although Conimbriga had been administratively important, Aeminium affirmed its position by being situated at the confluence of the north-south traffic that connected the Roman Bracara Augusta (later Braga) and Olisipo (later Lisbon) with its waterway, which enabled connections with the interior and coast. The limestone table on which the settlement grew has a dominant position overlooking the Mondego, circled by fertile lands irrigated by its waters. Vestiges of this early history include the cryptoporticus of the former Roman forum (now part of the Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro).

The move of the settlement and bishopric of Conimbriga to Aeminium resulted in the name change to Conimbriga, evolving later to Colimbria.[3] During the Visigothic era (around the 8th century), the County of Coimbra was instituted by King Wittiza; a sub-county of his dominion, it was established as a fief for his son Prince Ardabast (or Sisebuto), with its seat in Emínio(the Visigothic name for Coimbra), which persisted until the Muslim invasion from the south.

The first Muslim campaigns that occupied the Iberian peninsula occurred between 711 and 715, with Coimbra capitulating to Musa bin Nusair in 714. Although it was not a large settlement, Qulumriyah(Arabic: قُلُمْرِيَة‎), in the context of Al-Andalus, was the largest agglomerated centre along the northern Tagus valley, and its principal city boasted a walled enclosure of 10 hectares, supporting between 3000 and 5000 inhabitants. Remnants of this period include the beginnings of the Almedina, Arrabalde and the fortified palace used by the city's governor (which was later converted into the Royal Palace by the early Portuguese monarchs). The Christian Reconquista forced Muslim forces to abandon the region temporarily. Successively the Moors retook the castle in 987–1064 and again in 1116, capturing two castles constructed to protect the territory: in Miranda da Beira (where the garrison was slaughtered) and in Santa Eulália (where the governor rendered his forces rather than facing a similar massacre).[3]

Kingdom[edit]

The reconquest of the territory was attained in 1064 by King Ferdinand I of León and Castile, who appointed Dom Sisnando Davides to reorganize the economy and administer the lands encircling the city. The County of Portucale and the County of Coimbra were later integrated into one dominion under the stewardship of Henry of Burgandy by Alfonso VI of León and Castile in 1096, when Henry married Alfonso's illegitimate daughter Theresa. Henry expanded the frontiers of the County, confronting the Moorish forces, and upon his death (in 1112), Theresa, Countess of Portucale and Coimbra, unified her possessions. Their son, Afonso Henriques, who would take up residence in the ancient seat of the Christian County of Coimbra, sent expeditions to the south and west, consolidating a network of castles that included Leiria, Soure, Rabaçal, Alvorge and Ansião.[3]

During the 12th century, Afonso Henriques administered an area of fertile lands with river access and protected by a fortified city, whose population exceeded 6000 inhabitants, including magnates, knights and high clergy. The young Infante encouraged the construction of his seat, funding the Monastery of Santa Cruz (founded in 1131 by Theotonius), promoted the construction of the Sé Cathedral, reconstructed the original Roman bridge in 1132, recuperated fountains, kilns, roads and stone pavements, as well as renovating the walls of the old city. In order to confirm and reinforce the power of the concelho (municipality) he conceded a formal foral (charter) in 1179.

By the end of the 13th century (or start of the 14th century), there was a distinct consolidation of the aristocratic, political and military city (concentrated in the Almedina) and the merchant, artisan and labour centres in the Arrabalde, in addition to the old and new Jewish quarters. Meanwhile, on the periphery, the municipality began to grow in various agglomerations, notably around the monasteries and convents that developed in Celas, Santa Clara, Santo António dos Olivais.

The Studium Generale (precursor of the University of Coimbra) was established in Lisbon in 1290, by King Dinis. The University was relocated to Coimbra in 1308, but in 1338 Afonso IV made the University return to Lisbon. In 1537, the University was definitively installed in Coimbra by King John III, and expanded by 1544 to occupy the Coimbra Royal Palace in the Almedina (in the Alta area of the city). It was eventually acquired by the University in 1597, when construction began to renovate the building to meet the school's requirements.

In the first half of the 19th century Coimbra was invaded by French troops under the command of Andoche Junot and André Masséna during the Peninsular War. A force of 4,000 Portuguese militia led by Nicholas Trant defeated Masséna, recapturing the city on 6 October 1810, while the remaining villages and parishes were decimated. When French forces finally began their retreat, although the city of Coimbra was defended successfully, the parishes in line of the regiments were pillaged, robbed or destroyed. The city recovered in the second half of the century with infrastructure improvements like the construction of the Conchada cemetery, a telegraph network, gas illumination, a new prison, a civic railway system, that included a metal railway bridge over the Mondego river and the renovation of the Portela bridge, in addition to the broadening of roads and expansion of the city into the Quinta de Santa Cruz.

By 1854, with the expulsion of the religious orders and municipal reforms, the need to reorganize the municipality of Coimbra forced some changes in the existing structure of the administrative divisions. Consequently, documents were sent (on 20 January 1854) to the Ministries of Ecclesiastical Affairs (Portuguese: Ministério dos Negócios Eclesiásticos) and Justice (Portuguese: Ministério de Justiça) urging the identification by the Civil Governor and Archbishop of Coimbra (Manuel Bento Rodrigues) of the number of civil parishes to preserve, their limits, the political organs to be retained, a local census and other statistics to justify the demarcation of the territory.[4] A commission of five members, that included João Maria Baptista Callixto, António dos Santos Pereira Jardim, Roque Joaquim Fernandes Thomás, João Correia Ayres de Campos and António Egypcio Quaresma Lopes de Carvalho e Vasconcelos, were appointed to produce a plan to reduce, suppress, demarcate and establish civil parishes in the city of Coimbra and its suburbs.[4]

At the time of this commission, the municipality of Coimbra included nine parishes: Nossa Senhora da Assunção, Salvador, São Pedro, São Cristóvão, São João de Almedina, São Bartolomeu, São Tiago, São João de Santa Cruz and Santa Justa.[4] By decree, dated 25 November 1854, the nine parishes were reduced to four then delimited through the deannexation of two new parishes to form: Sé Catedral (402 inhabitants), Sé Velha (452 inhabitants), São Bartolomeu (541 inhabitants), Santa Cruz (729 inhabitants), Santo António dos Olivais (749 inhabitants) and Santa Clara (289 inhabitants).[4]

Republic[edit]

In the 20th century, specifically on 1 January 1911, electric tramways were inaugurated to connect the old quarter with its expanding periphery, that included the residential areas of Celas, Olivais, Penedo da Saudade and Calhabé, all of these located in the civil parish of Santo António dos Olivais. This was only the initiation of the municipality growth. Civil construction projects throughout the region marked the economic activity of the territory, with new areas such as Montes Claros, Arregaça, Cumeada and Calhabé growing in the shadow of the city. Even projects that had been planned at the end of the 19th century gained new initiative, including the expansion of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood (bairro), the demolition of the residencial area of the Alta de Coimbra (1940–50) to expand the University, and construction or expansion of the bairros of Celas, Sete Fontes and Marechal Carmona (now the bairro of Norton de Matos).

During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s the construction of new roadways permitted connections to the "suburbs" in the civil parishes surrounding the main centre.

Geography[edit]

One of the nation's important crossroads, Coimbra was historically at a junction between the Braga and Lisbon, and its river access (the Mondego flows through the municipality) provided a route between the interior communities and the coastal towns (including the seaside city of Figueira da Foz, 40 km (25 mi) east of Coimbra). The historic city of Coimbra is located in centrally within the municipality, connected to Lisbon (197 km (122 mi)) and Porto (116 km (72 mi)) by the IC2, IP3 and A1 motorways.[5]

The municipality is circled by several of its neighbouring municipalities in the Baixo Mondego region, which include Penacova (in the northeast), Vila Nova de Poiares (to the east), Miranda do Corvo (to the southeast), Condeixa-a-Nova (to the south and southwest), Montemor-o-Velho (to the west), Cantanhede (to the northwest) and Mealhada (in the north and northeast). Just outside the municipality, there are also several picturesque mountain towns such as Lousã and Penacova, while spa towns and villages, such as Luso, Buçaco and Curia are commonplace.

Although it ceased in the 13th century to serve as the capital of Portugal, Coimbra retains considerable importance as the centre of the former Beira province, now designated the Centro region. It is considered alongside Braga one of the two most important regional centres in Portugal outside the Lisbon and Portos metropoles, the centre for the whole middle region of the country. With a dense urban grid, the municipality is known primarily for the city of Coimbra, itself famous for its monuments, churches, libraries, museums, parks, nightlife, healthcare and shopping facilities. Above all, its cultural life, oriented around the University of Coimbra, has historically attracted the nation's notable writers, artists, academics and aristocracy, securing its reputation as the Lusa-Atenas (Lusitanian Athens).

Ecoregions/Protected areas[edit]

The western edge of Coimbra is covered by the Reserva Natural do Paúl de Arzila (Arzila Bog Natural Reserve), which is designated both as a Special Protection Zone (Portuguese: Zona de Protecção Especial) and Special Conservation Zone (Portuguese: Zona Especial de Conservação), coincident with the civil parish of Arzila (sometimes referred to as the Paúl de Arzila or marsh of Arzila).[6] It is a humid zone that has sheltered migratory birds, and supports other animal and plant species; this has included predominantly avian species, such as the: Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta), Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), and the Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides).[6] The 482 hectare area, under threat from industrial, residential and agricultural pollution, expansion of aquatic plants and eutrophication, has forced the governmental reorganization of land use in order to promote models of sustainability, and rural use that does not have an impact on the migratory and aquatic bird populations.[6]

The municipal government has also promoted the installation and maintenance of various parks, playgrounds, gardens and forests, including the development of the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra (considered the fifth oldest in the world), the Mata Nacional do Choupal, the Mata Nacional de Vale de Canas, Jardim da Sereia (also known as Santa Cruz Garden), Penedo da Saudade, Parque Manuel Braga, Parque Verde do Mondego, Choupalinho, and the 19th century Quinta das Lágrimas estate and gardens.

Complementing these natural spaces is the riverside parks and bathing areas that line the Mondego, including the river beaches of Palheiros do Zorro, in the parish of Torres do Mondego.

Climate[edit]

Coimbra has a mild Mediterranean climate (Csb) according to the Köppen climate classification. In winter, temperatures range between 15 °C (59 °F) at day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night in the coldest month and some times could drop below 0 °C (32 °F), while summer temperatures range between 29 °C (84 °F) at day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night and can reach 40 °C (104 °F) or more. The highest and lowest temperatures recorded in Coimbra are −7.8 °C (18.0 °F) and 42.5 °C (108.5 °F) in 1941 and 1943. The average of days in a year with minimum temperature less than 0 °C (32 °F) is 10.5 and with maximum temperature above 30 °C (86 °F) is 32.2. Source: Portuguese Institute of Meteorology

Climate data for Coimbra
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
25.5
(77.9)
29.5
(85.1)
32.5
(90.5)
35.0
(95)
41.6
(106.9)
40.2
(104.4)
40.0
(104)
40.0
(104)
34.6
(94.3)
27.6
(81.7)
25.2
(77.4)
41.6
(106.9)
Average high °C (°F) 14.6
(58.3)
15.9
(60.6)
18.3
(64.9)
19.3
(66.7)
21.6
(70.9)
25.3
(77.5)
28.1
(82.6)
28.5
(83.3)
26.9
(80.4)
22.4
(72.3)
18.0
(64.4)
15.4
(59.7)
21.2
(70.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.6
(49.3)
10.9
(51.6)
12.6
(54.7)
13.85
(56.93)
16.2
(61.2)
19.4
(66.9)
21.55
(70.79)
21.45
(70.61)
20.15
(68.27)
16.65
(61.97)
12.85
(55.13)
10.85
(51.53)
15.5
(59.9)
Average low °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
5.9
(42.6)
6.9
(44.4)
8.4
(47.1)
10.8
(51.4)
13.5
(56.3)
15.0
(59)
14.4
(57.9)
13.4
(56.1)
10.9
(51.6)
7.7
(45.9)
6.3
(43.3)
9.8
(49.6)
Record low °C (°F) −4.9
(23.2)
−4.0
(24.8)
−3.3
(26.1)
−1.5
(29.3)
2.0
(35.6)
4.1
(39.4)
6.8
(44.2)
6.0
(42.8)
2.0
(35.6)
−2.6
(27.3)
−3.1
(26.4)
−2.8
(27)
−4.9
(23.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 112.2
(4.417)
105.6
(4.157)
65.5
(2.579)
84.8
(3.339)
79.5
(3.13)
39.8
(1.567)
12.8
(0.504)
14.4
(0.567)
51.7
(2.035)
102.6
(4.039)
109.4
(4.307)
126.8
(4.992)
905.1
(35.634)
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia (1971-2000 climatology) [7]

Human geography[edit]

See also: Coimbra

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 18 civil parishes (freguesias):[8]

Population of the
municipality of Coimbra
(1802–2011)
Year Pop.   ±%  
1802 46,343 —    
1849 32,517 −29.8%
1900 54,105 +66.4%
1930 76,494 +41.4%
1960 106,404 +39.1%
1981 138,930 +30.6%
1991 139,052 +0.1%
2001 148,443 +6.8%
2008 135,314 −8.8%
2011 143,052 +5.7%
The orientation of the 31 civil parishes of the municipality of Coimbra before 2013.

As of 2001, the municipality of Coimbra had a population of 148,443 inhabitants (covering an area of 319.4 km²), reflecting a 6.8% increase relative to 1991 (139,052 residents), while the number of families increased 17.1% in the same period.[9] This was mainly concentrated in the parish of Sé Nova, while the remaining administrative divisions accounted for a range of 78.54 to 5069.2 inhabitants per kilometre square.[10] Seniors and youth (age 0 to 14 years) represent a minority of the population (16.5% and 31.1%); the 25 to 64 cohort accounts for 55% of the active population. While per 100 inhabitants, seniors actually comprise 21.6% of this population, the birth rate (9.3%) is superior the mortality rate in the communities of Coimbra, which is actually greater than other municipalities in the Baixo Mondego subregion.[11]

The municipality of Coimbra has a resident population of 157,510 inhabitants, and seasonal population of approximately 200,000 residents. Between 1864 and 2001, the municipal population tripled (following the trend in the rest of the country when the nation's population doubled), while between 1991 and 2001 its population increased 6.75% (Portugal's population increased 4.08% in the same period).[12] On average, over 43,000 people flow to Coimbra every day to study and work. About 430,000 inhabitants live in its Greater Metropolitan Area (Portuguese: Grande Área Metropolitana de Coimbra), consisting of 16 municipalities comprising a territory of 3,372 square kilometres (1,302 sq mi).

Internally, the network and location of public service/sector institutions (such as police stations, fire stations, public finance and notary services) have been located within 5.2 to 6.6 km (3.2 to 4.1 miles) of the resident population, while most tertiary shops and retail capture between 43.4% and 100% of the market.[13] Mini-markets and corner shops cover 100% of the population; generally, the longest distance travelled between shops is 8.7 km (5.4 mi) (for pastry shops).[14] Restaurants are usually within 74.2% of the population, and refreshment shops (such as bars and snack bars) routinely cover 100% of the market.[14] Commerce and vestuary shops range from coverage of 43.4% (for glasses) to 91.4% (of clothing); the largest distance that resident population requires to travel is 10.2 km (6.3 mi) for electro-domestics and auto-mobile purchases.[14] Repair services, which cover the largest part of the civil parishes, and specifically auto repair shops, cover 97.1% of the market. Public transport covers 90.3% of the parishes, with 93.5% of the population; 61.3% have taxi services (capturing 78.8% of the population); public buses serve 67.7% of the parishes (or 85% of the population); while rail services affect 35.5% of the parishes (serving 29.7% of the market); while unequipped parishes, on average, lie within 4.8 km (3.0 mi) of such services.[14] Postal services are provided in 15 parishes (48.4%), corresponding to 77.9% of the population, while 98.6% receive home distribution. Similarly, public telephones have a 94.6% coverage of the population.[14]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Coimbra is twinned with:

Economy[edit]

The familiar urban landscape of the Baixa (Downtown), showing the distinctive hill of the Almendina and Sé Novathat became University hill, seen from the Santo António dos Olivais

Of the companies who have their headquarters in the municipality, the majority are involved in retail and commerce, complemented by construction, manufacturing and real estate, while the majority of workers are employed in tertiary industries/businesses. There is a move by municipal authorities to bring in more innovation and high-technology businesses, through initiatives such as the Coimbra Innovation Park (constructed beginning in 2008), with the objective of promoting innovation and companies that promote research and development (such as nanotechnology company Innovnano, a subsidiary of Companhia União Fabril).[24]

In agriculture, the majority of these workers are self-employed and involved in the cultivation of cereals (grain), temporary pasture-lands, forage crops and vineyards, but also includes the cultivation of legumes, potato, flowers and ornamental plants, citrus plants, subtropical and fresh fruit, in addition to olives.

Ostensibly, visitors are attracted to municipality of Coimbra for its touristic landscape, including the popular and religious festivals; the landscapes; and the monuments, historical places and architecture of the region. Most travelers stay in Coimbra 1.5 days, usually staying at many of the hotels, residences or hospices (although capacity is between 41.8–47.4% in the parishes and from 79.8% in the city).

Transportation[edit]

A Caetano/EFACEC trolleybus in Coimbra, 2006.

Although dominated by the A1 motorway (connecting Coimbra to Lisbon and Porto), the municipality is also connected by a series of roads and public services that unifies the regional communities. It is served by the SMTUC Serviços Municipalizados de Transportes Urbanos de Coimbra (Portuguese: Municipal Urban Transport Services of Coimbra), which includes not only the Coimbra trolleybus system and tram network that connect the old city, but also bus services into the municipality (it is an interregional bus service hub for Centro region).

Throughout Coimbra there are rail stations that connect the principal parishes of the municipality (Coimbra-B) with Porto and Lisbon, while a small spur links to the main station (Coimbra-A). A regional line (the Linha da Lousã) also runs from Coimbra Park (at the south edge of the city centre) to Miranda do Corvo, Lousã, Serpins and others, including links to Figueira da Foz (Ramal de Alfarelos), Guarda and Vilar Formoso (Linha da Beira Alta).

The banks of the Mondego River are linked by several bridges, including prominently the Ponte do Açude, the Ponte de Santa Clara (which is the oldest) and the Ponte Rainha Santa (also known as Ponte Europa), while the more recent Ponte Pedonal de Pedro e Inês is the modernist pedestrian bridge that connects both banks.

A regional airfield is located on a hilltop overlooking the parishes of Cernache and Antanhol, some 7.5 km (4.7 mi) southwest of the city centre. The Aeródromo Municipal Bissaya Barreto (CBP) [PCO], has a 920 metres (3,018 feet) runway, with Flight Information Services until the sunset and facilities for private flights.

Architecture[edit]

The central body and tower of the University of Coimbra in the civil parish of Sé Nova.
The Monsatry of Santa Clara-a-Nova across the Mondego River, in the civil parish of Santa Clara.
The Church of São Tiago within the Praça 8 de Maio, in the civil parish of São Bartolomeu.
The Church of Santo António dos Olivais, in the parish of the same name.

Civic[edit]

Military[edit]

Religious[edit]

Education[edit]

Coimbra has been called A cidade dos estudantes (the city of the students) or, alternately, the Portuguese Athens (Portuguese: Lusa-Atenas), because of its long, storied-relationship with the University of Coimbra (the oldest and largest public university in Portugal, whose origins can be traced back to the 13th century). Similarly, it is the home to the oldest students' union, theAssociação Académica de Coimbra (Academic Association of Coimbra), established in 1887. Many of the students select Coimbra owing to the variety of degrees offered in different fields, the student-friendly environment of the municipality, and the prestige associated with Coimbra's ancient academic history.

Other prominent public-sector institutions include the Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra (a polytechnic institute) and the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra (a nursing school), while several private institutions, such as the Instituto Superior Miguel Torga, the Instituto Superior Bissaya Barreto, the Escola Universitária Vasco da Gama and the Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra, provide complimentary services, in addition to the Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Coimbra (Coimbra Hotel and Tourism School). The city has also a large number of public and private basic and secondary schools, among these some of the best-ranked in the country, like Escola Secundária Infanta D. Maria (public), Escola Secundária José Falcão (public), "Escola EB2/3 Martim de Freitas" (public), Colégio de São Teotónio (private) and Colégio Rainha Santa Isabel (private), as well as several kindergartens and nurseries.

Culture[edit]

Coimbra celebrates its municipal holiday on 4 July, in honour of Queen Elizabeth of Portugal (spouse of the King Denis); a religious and civic celebration that celebrated the life of the former Queen, that includes a fireworks display following the night-time march of the penitents.

The Fado de Coimbra is a highly stylized genre of fado music originated in Coimbra. Among its most notable and historical adherents are guitarist Carlos Paredes and singer Zeca Afonso, while the Orfeon Académico de Coimbra (the oldest and most famous academic choir in Portugal) and the Associação Académica de Coimbra are important organizations that promote the culture and stylings of this sub-genre of music. In addition, Coimbra has a contemporary music, boasting several live music venues, and some of the most popular clubs and music festivals in Portugal. Moreover, theConservatório de Música de Coimbra, musical departments of the Associação Académica de Coimbra and the music programmes of the Faculty of Letters are noted by many of top music schools in the country.

Coimbra is also known for its university students' festivals, that include the Festa das Latas ("Festival of the Tin Cans"), a homecoming parade at the beginning of the academic year, and the traditional second-semester eight-day-long Queima das Fitas ("The Burning of the Ribbons"), which are open to the entire community and attract national and international tourists.

As the third-largest regional media market in Portugal, the Portuguese public radio and television broadcaster RTP has regional offices and studios in Coimbra, while theDiário de Coimbra and the Diário As Beiras are the two major newspapers based in Coimbra.

Sport[edit]

Coimbra is home to Associação Académica de Coimbra (known simply as Académica), an autonomous professional football team of the University of Coimbra students' union, founded in 1872. Obtaining its autonomy in the 1980s, Académica plays in the Portuguese Liga from the local Estádio Cidade de Coimbra stadium, while the multisports clubs of Coimbra's students' union Associação Académica de Coimbra, provides training and competition in a wide array of sports such as rugby, volleyball, handball, rink hockey, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming and rowing, among many others.

In addition to the 30,000-seat Estádio Cidade de Coimbra (which was a site of 2004 European Football Championship), the municipality of Coimbra boasts several sports venues, including the municipal olympic-size swimming pool complex, the multiuse sports complex (Portuguese: Pavilhão Multiusos de Coimbra), the Estádio Municipal Sérgio Conceição and the Estádio Universitário de Coimbra(the University's extensive sports complex located on Mondego's left bank). In addition, the Pavilhão Jorge Anjinho sports arena (home of Académica), Pavilhão dos Olivais, and Pavilhão do C.F. União de Coimbra, are other places where some of the most important indoor sports clashes involving teams of Coimbra are played. This includes the Clube de Futebol União de Coimbra (simply União Coimbra), another sports with a long history of playing football in the region, today in the Portuguese Second Division.

Notable citizens[edit]

Portugal's first monarch, Afonso Henriques, was buried in the Monastery of Santa Cruz
Carlos Seixas prominent composer, musician and teacher
Pedro Passos Coelho politician and Prime Minister of Portugal

The following people were born or died within the municipality of Coimbra:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ INE, ed. (2010), Censos 2011 – Resultadas Preliminares [2011 Census – Preliminary Results] (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Nacional de Estatística, retrieved 1 July 2011 
  2. ^ IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 July 2011 
  3. ^ a b c d David J.J. Evans (2004), p.221
  4. ^ a b c d José Manuel Azevedo Silva (2011), p.2-3
  5. ^ Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.5
  6. ^ a b c Plano Sectoral da Rede Natura 2000 (Zonas de Protecção Especial): Paul de Arzila (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: ICNB Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade 
  7. ^ "Weather Information for Coimbra (Portuguese Meteorological Institute)". 
  8. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 41" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.6
  10. ^ Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.7
  11. ^ Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.8
  12. ^ Direcção Municipal de Administração do Território – Câmara Municipal de Coimbra (Coimbra City Hall)(in Portuguese)
  13. ^ Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.12-13
  14. ^ a b c d e Luísa Santos (December 2004), p.13
  15. ^ Association of twinnings and international relations of Aix-en-Provence
  16. ^ Mairie of Aix-en-Provence – Twinnings and partnerships
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Câmara Municipal (2005), p.14-15
  18. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," 15 February 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
  19. ^ Richard Thompson."Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, 12 October 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
  20. ^ "Pesquisa de Legislação Municipal – No 14471" [Research Municipal Legislation – No 14471]. Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo [Municipality of the City of São Paulo] (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  21. ^ Lei Municipal de São Paulo 14471 de 2007 WikiSource (Portuguese)
  22. ^ Prefeitura.Sp – Descentralized Cooperation
  23. ^ Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza. Hermanamientos y Protocolos de Colaboración
  24. ^ Innovnano inaugura nova fábrica em 2011 (in Portuguese), Grupo José de Mello 
Sources

External links[edit]