Originally founded by the Romans, Coimbra grew and prospered under the Moors. The Christians took over the city in 1064, and Coimbra was Portugal’s capital from 1139 to 1255 when Afonso III moved it to Lisbon. Located on a hill by the Mondego River, it is the fourth largest city in Portugal, and just two hours north of Lisbon, on the train.
The climb to the top of the hill the city sits on, takes one along narrow, steep, winding streets, the view from the top is worth it.
The Sé Velha de Coimbra, the 12th century cathedral is one of Portugal’s finest examples of Romanesque architecture.