The University of Coimbra is a renowned institution of higher learning located in the city of Coimbra, Portugal. Established in 1290, it is the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest universities in Europe. The university has a rich history and is known for its academic excellence, beautiful campus, and unique traditions. Here are five interesting and fun facts about the University of Coimbra:
1. The Academic Dress
One of the most distinctive features of the University of Coimbra is the academic dress worn by its students and faculty. The dress consists of a black robe with long sleeves and a cape made of velvet. The cape is lined with the university's colors, which are green and gold. The dress is worn on special occasions, such as graduation ceremonies, and is a symbol of the university's long history and traditions.
2. The University Tower
The University of Coimbra is located on a hill overlooking the city. At the top of the hill is the university tower, which is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. The tower was built in the 18th century and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Coimbra and the surrounding countryside.
3. The Coimbra Fado
Fado is a traditional Portuguese music style that is known for its melancholic and soulful melodies. The Coimbra Fado is a unique variation of fado that is associated with the University of Coimbra. It is performed by male students wearing the university's academic dress and accompanied by guitars and mandolins. The Coimbra Fado is a beloved part of the university's cultural heritage and is performed at various events throughout the academic year.
4. The Joanina Library
The Joanina Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world and is located on the campus of the University of Coimbra. It was built in the 18th century and features stunning Baroque architecture, ornate ceilings, and thousands of rare books and manuscripts. The library is open to the public and is a must-see for anyone visiting Coimbra.
5. The Queima das Fitas
The Queima das Fitas is a week-long festival that takes place in Coimbra every May. It is a celebration of the end of the academic year and is a beloved tradition of the University of Coimbra. During the festival, students wear their academic dress and participate in various events, such as parades, concerts, and parties. The festival culminates with the burning of ribbons, which symbolize the end of the academic year.
In conclusion, the University of Coimbra is a fascinating institution with a rich history and unique traditions. Whether you are a student, a tourist, or a lover of culture and history, the university has much to offer. From its beautiful campus to its iconic academic dress and cultural events, the University of Coimbra is a true gem of Portugal.