October 24, 2014

1313 PORTUGAL (Coimbra) - University of Coimbra - Alta and Sofia (UNESCO WHS)

In Coimbra are many archaeological structures which date back to the Roman era (the well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus for example), and also buildings from the period when it was the capital of Portugal (1131-1255), but this city is best known for its University. During the Late Middle Ages, with the decline of Coimbra as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, it began to evolve into a major cultural centre, helped by the university finally established there in 1537. The university, one of the oldest in Europe,  influences educational institutions of the former Portuguese empire over seven centuries, receiving and disseminating knowledge in the fields of arts, sciences, law, architecture, town planning and landscape design. It demonstrates also a specific urban typology, which illustrates the far-ranging integration of a city and its university.

Notable university buildings include the 12th century Cathedral of Santa Cruz and a number of 16th century colleges,  the Royal Palace of Alcáçova, which has housed the University since 1537, the Joanine Library with its rich baroque decor, the 18th century Botanical Garden and University Press, as well as the large University City created during the 1940s. Created initially as an academy in the late 13th century on the hill above the town (Alta), university was established in the Royal Palace of Alcáçova in 1537 before developing as a series of colleges. In the foreground of the postcard is Santa Clara bridge, the oldest of the city's 3 bridges, and the main crossing of the river Mondego, which links Coimbra from the Santa Clara side and offers the best view of the university district (upper town).

About the stamps
The first two stamps are part of the series Portuguese Traditional Festivities, about which I wrote here

The third stamp is part of the series Gardens of Portugal, issued on June 6, 2014:
• Jardins do Palácio da Fronteira (Gardens of the Fronteira Palace) (0.42 EUR)
• Jardins do Palácio de Queluz (Gardens of the Queluz Palace) (0.50 EUR) - it's on the postcard
• Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra (Botanical Garden of the Coimbra University) (0.72 EUR)
• Cerca do Mosteiro de Tibães (Enclosure of the Tibães Monastery) (0.72 EUR)
• Parque Terra Nostra (Terra Nostra Park) (0.80 EUR)
• Gardens of the Chalet da Condessa (Countess’ Chalet) (0.42 EUR)
• Quinta do Palheiro Ferreira (Palheiro Ferreira Estate) (0.80 EUR)
• Parque de Serralves (Serralves Park) (0.62 EUR)

University of Coimbra - Wikipedia
University of Coimbra (Alta and Sofia) - UNESCO official website

Sender: Eduardo Morais (direct swap)
Sent from Coimbra (Coimbra / Portugal), on 14.07.2014

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