Monday, November 9, 2015

University Building (Coimbra, Portugal)

If I need to describe something more about my own personal experience in Coimbra then the first association for this small Portuguese town will be the long tradition, student parties, old medieval buildings, churches, Harry Potter dresses style and never ending line of young people who are rushing to their early morning university lectures. Coimbra is hilly and in some places you can have a nice view on the whole town area from totally different angles. I discovered so many interesting shortcuts with the stairs and several old cafes around where you can see locals who are enjoying in Sagres while watching the football on TV.

University Building in Coimbra by Igor L.
(University Building, Coimbra)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Coimbra University is probably one of the most famous universities in Europe and one of the oldest in the whole world! It is separated on many faculties but main building keep a significant part of history from which particularly the most interesting for me to see was the Joanina Library built somewhere around 18th century. Except some very old books in the main Library part, this building contains and small cathedral, rooms with paintings, museums, classrooms and statues of Portuguese heroes-kings. During the visit I learned lot about this mansion and especially interesting part was the basement where was detained a prison for "bad" students of that time as penalty for their behavior.

Mortos da Grande Guerra Monument by Igor L.
(Mortos da Grande Guerra, Coimbra)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Passing by the unique store in which were exposed student cloaks for really high prices I could not understand why they were so important to the some young people in this country. Portuguese friend of mine explained to me that not all the students wearing cloaks, especially not all day but that many of them look on cloaks as a status symbols, others as great fun and some as a good tradition which should be saved. Thinking about the cloaks and graduation hats I suddenly found myself in front of the statue Mortos da Grande Guerra that in the past I already saw in some colorful book! Portugal also participated in the WW1 on the allies side (the same as my country) and that is one part of the history for which I have specific respect since and my family had participants through WW1.

Igreja de Santa Justa in Coimbra by Igor L.
(Igreja de Santa Justa, Coimbra)
Photo taken by Igor L. 

During the night, Coimbra becomes a town full of great fun with different content for mostly young people but also and for those little bit older who are enjoying in a good Fado music right next to the main Old Cathedral. I still preferred to saw myself listening to the Jazz performance and sipping wine until the late hours which I did meeting some fantastic people around. Before I returned back to the bus station I succeeded to see from the inside and Igreja de Santa Justa, which is simply outstanding and although it may not be comparable with Old Cathedral in the town center, I find it very beautiful on its own way. Generally speaking, all churches in Coimbra are the real treasures full of artistic and spiritual powers that is worth to see and visit if you ever have a chance to do it.