Coimbra and Conimbriga
The erstwhile capital of Portugal, Coimbra, and the imposing Roman site of Conimbriga have intertwining histories which provide invaluable insights into the country. In the Roman period, Conimbriga was the largest city in the region, dominating the future Coimbra, Aeminium. Hoards of Sueves and Visigoths who ransacked Conimbriga in the 6th century AD spelled the end of the city whose inhabitants fled to Aeminium renaming it after the once prosperous Conimbriga. This tour takes you to the heart of these two cities, exploring their Roman histories and immersing you in the Muslim and medieval hearts of Coimbra. Visit Portugal’s largest Roman site and delight in the rich history of Coimbra with its Fado music and delightful cuisine, all with the added opportunity of visiting 2 of Portugal’s most famous cities, Braga and Porto.
Benefit from this limited time offer:
- Pay a low deposit of $149, was $750.
Single supplement: $365
Day 1 - Porto - Coimbra
We meet at our hotel in Coimbra and enjoy a walk around the city.
|Hotel||Hotel Tivoli Coimbra|
Day 2 - Coimbra
This morning we begin our exploration of Coimbra from its Islamic period to its medieval apogee and its baroque splendors. We start with a visit to the Holy Inquisition Courtyard which was transformed from a College of Arts to the Tribunal of the Holy office in the 16th century and continue to the splendid 12th century Old Cathedral, one of the few surviving Romanesque churches in Portugal whose architecture shows remnants of its Moorish past. A short distance away, we find the Santa Cruz Monastery, founded in the 12th century and the burial place of Alphonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. We end the morning with the Almedina Arch, the only surviving entrance gate and a reminder of the city’s Islamic period. After lunch, we explore the UNESCO listed University of Coimbra, set up in 1290, making it one of the oldest in continuous operation in the world. Here we see the Royal Chapel of St. Michael, the Academic Prison and the splendid baroque 18th century Johannine Library.
Day 3 - Coimbra - Conimbriga
We examine the Roman origins of the city, the ancient Aeminium. We explore the archaeological section of the important Machado de Castro Museum, located where the Roman forum once stood. We venture to the Roman Cryptoporticus under the museum, a monumental series of galleries once supporting the forum. We end the morning with a visit to the city’s aqueduct of St. Sebastian. In the afternoon, we visit the extensive remains of Conimbriga, a city destroyed by the Sueves in the 6th century, when the inhabitants relocated to Aeminium. The city’s erstwhile wealth is palpable in the opulence of its houses which are adorned with prepossessing mosaics - particularly in the case of the House of the Skeleton. We also view the forum, baths and remains of an aqueduct, as well as an impressive defensive wall from the late antique period which foreshadowed the invasions to come.
Day 4 - Coimbra - Anadia
This morning we venture to the evocative ruins of the Old Convent of Saint Clara, first founded in the end of the 13th century and re- founded and refurbished by Queen Elizabeth, the wife of King Denis Portugal who was canonized in the 17th century. Its proximity to the Mondego river meant that the convent was prone to flooding, resulting in its decay and collapse in the 17th century. Excavations carried out in the end of the 20th century and meticulous restoration work have given us a sense of its former glory. We see the remains of the chapter house, refectory and cloister. Afterwards, we travel to Anadia to enjoy a wine tasting lunch. In the evening we enjoy a performance of Fado music which is associated with the students of Coimbra and has roots in the Iberian lyric style of trovadorismo.
Day 5 - Coimbra - Braga
Today we venture to Braga and stop en route to one of the most interesting chapels in Portugal, the Visigothic 7th century pre-Romanesque Capela de São Frutuoso whose design – shaped like a Greek cross - shows a Byzantine influence. The tour continues to the Cathedral of Braga, the oldest and most venerable in Portugal. Begun in the end of the 11th century and built over several centuries, the church is a wonderful blend of Romanesque, gothic, manuelist and baroque architectures. We end the day with the excellent Museo de Arqueologia Dom Diogo de Sousa which is located in what was the heart of Bracara Augustus. Here we examine a stunning collection of ancient artefacts dating from the paleolithic to the medieval period. We overnight in Braga, soaking in the atmosphere of this historic city.
|Hotel||Hotel Mercure Braga Centro|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 6 - Porto
On our last day, we travel to Porto and visit the historic city, in particular the colorful Ribeira section on the riverside with its cobbled streets. We start with the Cathedral built between the 12th and 16th centuries and which retains some of its Romanesque features. We proceed to the Casa do Infante, the fine medieval house where Henry the Navigator was born in 1394 and which today houses a museum which includes Roman artefacts found in excavations of the site. Later, we make our independent journeys home.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- All taxes & gratuities
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Field notes
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single Supp.||Offer||Availability|
|September 13 2021||ACON210913||September 13 2021 (Monday)||September 18 2021 (Saturday)||Dr Andy Fear||$2,545