Visiting Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra is a popular stop for tourists coming to visit the archaeological structures dating back to the Roman era, especially the well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus.

Monastery of Santa Cruz

It’s even more famous as the home of the University of Coimbra (1290), the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world.  Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.

I bought a ticket to see the Joanine Library (Biblioteca Joanina), continuing my quest to visit all the most beautiful bookstores and libraries in the world.

It’s small, but well gilded. 😀

The most interesting part of the story is that this is one of the Portuguese libraries that encourages bats to make residence. The thinking is that they eat insects that might damage the ancient treasures.

Library on the left. By Dicklyon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Biggest man on campus. King Joao III (John III) 1521 – 1557.

Though King John accomplished a lot, the Inquisition was introduced into Portugal in 1536. Just like in Spain, the Inquisition was placed under the authority of the king.

In Portugal the first Grand Inquisitor was Cardinal Henry, the king’s brother

If Belgium was the most horrific European nation for brutalizing people in their colonies, Portugal and Spain were next worst. I blame the Catholic Church out of Italy equally.

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