The city got its existence dated back to 11th century. The city was founded in 1131 and till then it remains as the great cultural centre. One of the oldest centres for learning in Portugal was founded by the King Dinis in 13th August 1290. Coimbra served as Portugal s capital from 1143, when Afonso Henriques settled there, until 1255 when Afonso III moved the capital to Lisbon, where it remains toda. Six of Portugal s Kings were born here and in 1139 until 1256 it was the chosen capital of the country. The original name in the Roman period was Aeminium, and it later developed under the influence of the greater nearby town of Conimbriga . It has a large archeological site with extensive ruins dating from the time it was a Roman town called Aeminium. One of the Romanesque style cathedrals, Se Velha, built in the 12th century worth visit more than all the old buildings from the university dating back from the 15th century through the 18th century. The 12th century Monastery of Santa Cruz with tombs of first two Portuguese kings, 17th century new cathedral, and the Machado de Castro museum,are the second most important one in the Portugal after the old art national Museum in Lisbon. The city also consists of the Coimbra general library which is the second largest after the National library in Lisbon, and the Botanical garden of the University of Coimbra from the 18th century.
Today it is divided into main areas that are The Alta (also known as the upper town) and The Baixa (often referred to as the lower town). You can rent a car in Coimbra and travel to both without any difficulty. If you want to have a look at what Coimbra was like in the earlier times then its is recommended that you hire a car in Portugal and visit The Alta, which is the older part and gives a feeling of having entered into a territory occupied by Arabs whereas the Baixa is situated near the river and is more modern. Avail the Coimbra car rental to rent a car and drive down to it if you are looking for some commercial activity.
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