Coimbra is the main city of Central Portugal and one of the largest in the country, with around 100 000 inhabitants. Coimbra is located 200km (2 hours) away from Lisbon, 100km (1.15 hours) from Oporto and 40km (30 minutes) from Figueira da Foz, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean.
The city of Coimbra is traversed by the Mondego River, which stands out for being the largest course of water (around 253 Km) in Portuguese territory.
Since 711 A.D. and for three centuries, the city was Islamic, although there has intermittent presence of Christiandomination. In 1064 the city is definitely conquered for Christianity.
In the 18th century, the Pombaline Reform in the University highlighted the academic calling of the city, changing the architectural design of the "Alta" (Uptown), and valuing practice and experience, in accordance with the Enlightenment principles.
In the 1940s and 1950s of the 20th century, the “Alta” of the city of Coimbra changed dramatically with the construction of the present University Campus under the initiative of the Salazar regime. The inhabitants of the “Alta” were relocated in new neighbourhoods in the city.
Today, the city of Coimbra unifies and influences a large territory, making the intermediation between the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto, and between the coastline and inland of Central Portugal.
The city stands out in providing education and healthcare services, but also in advanced scientific research in the field of life sciences, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food and agrifood industry.