Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Coimbra(kōēm`brə), city (1991 pop. 96,142), capital of Coimbra dist., W central Portugal, on the Mondego River, in Beira Litoral. The old capital of Beira, it is a market center with small industries but is known chiefly for its history and for the famous university, which was founded (1292) by King Diniz in Lisbon but was moved temporarily to Coimbra in 1308 and permanently in 1540. Coimbra, then known as Conimbriga, was an important town in Roman days. It continued to flourish down through Moorish times and after its Christian recovery (1047) by Ferdinand I of León. It became the capital of Alfonso I, first king of Portugal, and continued as an important royal residence after the capital was transferred to Lisbon in the 13th cent. There is a fine 12th-century cathedral. Inés de Castro was murdered there (1355).
a city in Portugal, in Beira Litoral Province. Located on the right bank of the navigable Mondego River. The administrative center of Coimbra District. Population, 46,300 (1960). It is a railroad junction on the Porto-Lisbon line. A cloth mill and a chinaware factory are there.
During the period of Roman supremacy, Coimbra was called Aeminium. In the late ninth century the bishop’s residence was changed from the nearby city of Conimbriga to Aeminium, and since that time the city has been known as Coimbra. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Coimbra was the residence of the Portuguese kings. In 1307 the university was moved there from Lisbon; it was subsequently moved several times before being returned to Coimbra to stay in 1537.
Coimbra has preserved its medieval irregular layout, part of the fortification walls between the Lower Town, along the river, and the Upper Town (with the old cathedral, 1162–76, on the hill), and a number of churches and palaces from the 12th through the 17th centuries. The former royal palace (16th century) is the university’s main building. The Machado de Castro Museum, established in 1911, which exhibits Portuguese art from the eighth through the 20th centuries, is. also in Coimbra.