The royal charter of King D.Dinis from the 1st of March 1290 announces the institution of the first Portuguese University School in Lisbon referred as “Estudos Gerais”. In 1307 it was transferred to Coimbra and provided with its own building in the Upper Town in a nearby location of today’s University Library . “Estudos Gerais” have been transferred twice to Lisbon. In 1338 under King Afonso IV and in 1377 under King Fernando. Between 1354 and 1377, “Estudos Gerais” settled in Coimbra, in the downtown area.
In 1537 under King John the III th, the University was permanently transferred to Coimbra, to the facility premises belonging to the Royal Palace of the Alcazaba.
The Republican Government fostered important reforms in the education system including the establishment in 1911 of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FLUC).
The current facilities premises of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities were built during the rule of António de Oliveira Salazar, as part of a remodeling program of the uper town surrounding the Royal Palace of the Alcazaba. The architectural alterations of this program led to the destruction of an urban complex with its ancient streets and buildings of historical and artistic value at Coimbra’s“Alta”. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities was by then transferred from the existing facilities of the General Library and Archive, where it had been located to its current building.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities current building was inaugurated on the 22th of November, 1951. The building has seven floors. The main entrance, its hall of honor, is located on the fourth floor, at street level (at the level of Praça da Porta Férrea) The other entrance opens on the rear facade of the building, facing the Museum Machado de Castro, and allows an easy and direct communication with the Central Library located on the second floor.
In front of the building facade four statues of sculptor Feyo Barata, represent, from left to right, Eloquence, Philosophy, History and Poetry.
The façade five doors, of forged iron, are adorned with thirty small brass applications symbolizing classic themes related to subjects taught in the Faculty.
In the hall of honor there are two frescoes: on the left side, an allegory of Classical Antiquity, by Joaquim Rebocho and on the right side, the Glorification of the Portuguese Genius allegory by Severo Portela, measuring 40 square meters each. Very recently both have been restored and protected.
Besides this building, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is also consinged to Palace of Sub-Ripas, a sixteenth century building hold by the Institute of Archaeology, along to some facilities at College of St. Jerónimo, where Geography and Journalistic Studies are installed.
The Faculty has undergone several reforms, amoung which two ought to be mentioned – the one of 1956 and the one of 1978 – by their impact on the curricular organization and also on the scientific production of the Faculty.
FLUC is part of Humanities field , but differs from the other Faculties of this area by the research and the teaching that have characterized the humanistic knowledge: language, history, the binding between man and land, the human meaning of knowledge and the communicative word of man.
The FLUC is structured according to a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate studies matching, on the one hand, the needs of a solid professional training and on the other, a scientific research project, its natural vocation.
The FLUC aggregates different areas of expertise, each one hosting an abundant bibliographic information, therefore, it is organized into multiple Departments.
The scientific, educational and informative dynamic of the Faculty revelals itself by the large number of scientific magazines it publishes. Organizing colloquiums, conferences, symposiums, seminars, conferences, debates, field trips, concerts and film screenings is also an important side of FLUC activities
By its participation in ERASMUS / SOCRATES Project, FLUC has been developping a progressive opening to their counterparts in Europe. Internationalization is highly valued, therefore, covenants, protocols or agreements with universities or Faculties of the European Union and Portuguese-speaking countries or communities where portuguese immigration is relevant are highly encouraged and prized.