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Local Information - About Coimbra

Coimbra is the largest city in the center of Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,396, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres (123.3sq mi). About 460,000 people live in the Coimbra region, comprising 19 municipalities and extending into an area 4,336 square kilometres (1,674 sq. mi).
Coimbra is a heritage of a Roman settlement, Aeminium. Several archaeological testimonies, dating back, to the Roman era can be visited in the city; the well-preserved aqueduct (a big part can be seen just outside the limits of the Botanic Garden of the University), the Cryptoporticus (inside the Machado de Castro Museum) or the ruins of the Roman city of Conimbriga. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra was the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain, as the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha and the Old Cathedral (Sé Velha), remarkable examples of the Romanic.

During the Late Middle Ages, Coimbra became a major cultural center joining in its main street (Sofia) several monastic colleges. They were the basis of the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290. This historical and immaterial patrimony was recently (2013) classified as World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Presently, Coimbra is a good example of an integrated university city, concealing the history and the ceremonial and cultural traditions with a modern urban typology. It offers a peculiar cultural life (attracting notable writers, artists and academics), leading healthcare services, high-level education and training institutions, as well as, remarkable gardens, parks, shopping and entertaining facilities. Important monuments can be visited, among them the University.

The University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe, was founded as a Studium Generalein 1290 by King Dinis I. It was definitively installed in the premises of Coimbra Royal Palace in 1537 by King John III.

In 1772, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (Marquis of Pombal), the prime minister of King José I, undertook a profound reform of the university, where the study of the sciences assumed vast importance. The collections of scientific instruments and material acquired, nowadays gathered in the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, constitute one of the most important historical science collections in Europe. Marquês of Pombal also founded the Botanic Garden of the University of Coimbra that covers a total area of 13ha, most of which donated by Benedict monks. A visit to the Botanic Garden is like travelling around the earth without setting foot outside of the city. The 18thcenturyfeaturedarevolution of minds and significant scientific progress, particularly in the field of Medicine. Therefore, the Coimbra Botanic Garden was developed in view of complementing Natural History and Medicinal Studies. Naturalists and botanists produced several scientific publications, namely Flora Lusitana by Avelar Brotero (1804) on Portuguese flora.

Other notable landmarks of the ancient university can also be visited, such as the Joanina Library (Biblioteca Joanina), a remarkable library built in the 18thcenturythatgathersvaluableassetsofthecultureandscienceor the Baroque University Tower (Torre da Universidade), designed by the school of the German architect Ludovice and built between 1728 and 1733.



Useful Information

The currency in Portugal is Euro (€).

The voltage in Portugal is 220-240 volts (V) (at 50 hertz Hz).
Plugs are normally two round pins but, as a precaution, you might like to bring an adaptor. Make sure that, if your appliance nead to be earthed, the adopter also has an earth connection.

National emergency number: 112 (for fire, police and ambulance services).

We recommend that you arrange your own travel insurance to cover medical expenses, cancellation and all other risks.

English is the offical language for the congress. The mother tongue in Portugal is Portuguese.

Local Time
Mainland Portugal is one (1) hour behind European Standard Time (GMT) and the same time zone as the UK.

The climate in Coimbra is rather mild throughout the year, and the temperatures never get extremely hot or cold.
On average, the hottest months of the year are July and August, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally hover in the upper 60's and lower 70's. During extremely warm days, the temperatures will reach the 80's, but this is as hot as it gets. The nighttime temperatures during these months will generally drop to the mid to lower 50's.
The coldest months of the year on average are January and February, during which time the daily high temperatures will reach the mid to lower 40's. The nighttime temperatures during these months will generally drop to the lower 30's.
From June through September, there is plenty of sunshine in Coimbra. The wet and rainy season is from October through February.

Tipping in Portugal is just as important as in other parts of the world.
A service charge or "serviço" is NOT usually added to hotel and restaurant bills in Portugal. However, it is customary to tip an additional 10 % if the service warrants.

The bill at the restaurant only charges for what you eat; it is customary to leave a tip 10% + (the amount depending on the quality of the service you receive).

In hotels, tip € 2-3 for bellhops who carry your luggage up to the room.

Taxi drivers can be tipped by any amount you wish, although some people round the fare up to the nearest five euro.


Local public transportation
Visitors to Coimbra have a number of options for getting around the city with public transportation.
The city of Coimbra is served by a public transportation network of buses and trains. There are a few train lines that go to various destinations around the city and the surrounding area. There are two stations in the city: Station B (which services long distance destinations) and Station A (which services city destinations).
Buses are the best way to get around town, as there are numerous lines that access the most important areas of the city in both upper and lower town.

Taxis are a good way of getting around the immediate city and are recognizable as cream or black and green (black car with green rooftop). Generally, taxis will be waiting outside of major public areas such as train stations, bus stations, and large hotels. Because some drivers may not speak English, it is a wise idea to bring along a map with the desired destination circled.

The two banks of Mondego river at Coimbra, are linked by three main bridges: the Ponte do Açude, the Ponte de Santa Clara (Santa Clara bridge), which is the oldest, and the Ponte Rainha Santa also known as Ponte Europa, finished in 2004. The Ponte Pedonal de Pedro e Inês is the most recently constructed bridge and is the only footbridge in the city.


Parks & Gardens
Coimbra has many attractive and pleasant green spaces such as parks, playgrounds, gardens and forests. The most famous park in the city is probably the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, the fifth oldest in the world. The Portugal dos Pequenitos park is an educational theme park built during the Estado Novo. Its buildings are scale copies of Portuguese architectural landmarks and were completed in the 1950s.

The city's green areas also include the Mata Nacional do Choupal, the Mata Nacional de Vale de Canas, Jardim da Sereia (also known as Jardim de Santa Cruz), Penedo da Saudade, Parque Manuel Braga, Parque Verde do Mondego and Choupalinho.
Quinta das Lágrimas, a 19th-century palace and estate, EEBA2018's venue, contains also a large park. Also noteworthy is the Paul de Arzila, a natural reserve occupying an area in Coimbra municipality (in Arzila), and in the neighbouring municipalities of Condeixa-a-Nova and Montemor-o-Velho.
Not far away from the urban center, close to the city itself, and fully set in the municipality of Coimbra, there are plenty of mountain and river landscapes. These include the river beach of Palheiros do Zorro in the parish of Torres do Mondego.






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