|The Palace of Schools||The College of Jesus|
The University of Coimbra is the oldest Portuguese university and for centuries the only university in Portugal - speaking about the history of the Portuguese University is, generally speaking, talking about the University of Coimbra.
Founded in 1290 by King Dinis in Lisbon, it was permanently settled in Coimbra in 1537, by order of King João III, after a period of migration between these two cities. Initially planned to work in Sofia Street, opened specifically to accommodate it, near the Monastery of Santa Cruz, it was in the Royal Palace of the “Alcaçova”, later the Palace of Schools, that all Faculties of the University of Coimbra - Theology, Canons, Law and Medicine – began their work in 1544. This is the image recorded in the Portuguese collective imagination, indelible mark of the city and its University ever since.
For centuries the city and the University were shaped in a deep symbiotic
relationship, clearly visible in our days when we appreciate the relationship
between the various cores of Alta (higher city).
The Palace of Schools, historic center par excellence of the University, holds a part of the whole that constitutes the University - here we perceive the traditions and mystique that makes it unique in the world. Inseparable from the city that hosts it, one feels the legacy of centuries, which projects itself in time, connecting the past and the future.
The College of Jesus is the oldest Jesuit College in the world, created here in 1542. It became the teaching space of sciences at the University of Coimbra after the Studies reforms, driven by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772. It is now one of the major references in what relates to the History of Science in Portugal.
In June 2013, UNESCO classified the University of Coimbra as World Heritage Site, for its unquestionable value for the History and Portuguese Culture – thus rewarding the effort and dedication of those who every day works to preserve, enhance and especially share its heritage with the World.