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Coimbra – An Ancient Portuguese City Rich in Culture and Learning

Coimbra pic


Manuel Marquez, MD, has extensive experience as a Southern California medical executive. Among his roles was one that involved recruiting diverse physicians and health care providers. An avid traveler, he recently completed training as a tour leader. Manuel Marquez, MD, enjoys Spain and Portugal, and in the latter country, he has visited Porto, Lisbon, and the country’s traditional center of higher learning, Coimbra.

Situated inland on the Mondego River, placid Coimbra is one of the country’s most historically significant cities and was the capital of Portugal from the 12th to the 14th century. The older section of the city features narrow, windy streets around the hilltop University of Coimbra.

A medieval institution established in 1290, the university is among the oldest in Europe. and its distinctive white buildings overlook the city. Tradition reigns. and students still wear ribbons and lengthy capes in various colors that represent the faculty to which they belong.

Culturally rich, Coimbra features museums dedicated to archaeology and natural history, and is famous for its botanical garden. The city also has a number of storied religious buildings, including the Renaissance cathedral Se Nova and the Romanesque cathedral Se Velha. The Santa Clara convent features the remains of Queen Elisabeth, a sainted early Portuguese leader.