Portugal's Historic Coimbra: A City of Students and Land of Love with Ian Sumpter

Portugal's Historic Coimbra: A City of Students and Land of Love with Ian Sumpter


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Coimbra is a city of Kings and Queens, of star-crossed lovers, and scholars, and artists. They say that visiting Coimbra is like taking a class in Portuguese history, so join an expert as we trace our way through the story of Coimbra from its Roman foundations to the University town that enthralls visitors to this day, and everything in between.

Built on the banks of the Mondego river, Coimbra is a city of utmost significance to the history of Portugal. Ruled at different times by Roman occupiers, Visigoth settlers, and an Islamic caliphate, before eventually becoming the first capital of a newly founded Portugal. In 1308 due to quarrels with the Church and problems with rowdy students, the University of Portugal was moved from Lisbon to Coimbra where (barring a few years of Spanish occupation) it has remained ever since.

Today the University of Coimbra is renowned for the quality of its academic and scientific research, it is the second oldest University in Iberia and the seventh oldest in the world. Rich in artistic and architectural treasures such as the Joanina library and the beautiful university campus that was once the royal palace, and with a series of strange and wonderful traditions that endure to this day.

Led by an expert in Portuguese history and archaeology, Ian Sumpter, this interactive seminar will explore the history of the beautiful and historic city of Coimbra. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the city's culture, traditions, and history.

Born in Liverpool in the North of England, Ian was raised around the historic docks of the city where a love of Maritime history was born. He went on to study Archaeological sciences with the aim of specializing in Marine archaeology. His four years of the study saw him divert from his original aim and concentrate Urbanisation in the Ancient world. Working as an archaeologist for a number of years across Italy, the UK and South Asia, Ian has spent 13 years working in total working as a tour guide in Rome before the lure of the sea and sunshine brought him to Lisbon where he continues to research the urban landscape and the city’s vital relationship with the sea.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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