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Coimbra and Conimbriga, a visit to a city and an impressive Roman site

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Portugal, summer 2001, Coimbra and Conimbriga, a visit to a city and an impressive Roman site

Park Santa Cruz, CoimbraOur trip takes us first to Coimbra, the university city of Portugal since the 14th century. Like Lisbon, Coimbra has been build on the banks of a river, in this case the Rio Mondego. The differences in height are considerable and we can feel that in our legs after walking about for a few hours. Apart from the monuments in the old city centre there are beautiful parks and a big botanical garden. To the left a picture taken in park Santa Cruz.
Next we drive to Conimbriga where the most extensive excavation of a Roman city is located. The settlement was founded in the 1st century AD. and was inhabited until 468 AD. when it was sacked by the Sueves. There are still excavations being carried out on this large area and probably they will find much more than they have discovered till now.
Roman settlement Conimbriga Roman settlement ConimbrigaMost interesting are the villa's with mosaics and the heating system for the Roman baths. A big part of an aquaduct has been preserved and part of a Roman highway. Next to the excavation grounds there is a museum with more information about the place.
On the way back we take the N17, south of Coimbra, next the N2 and at Gois the N342. The first part gives a magnificent view on the river valley of the Rio Mondego and the N342 goes through the western foothills of the Serra da Estrella. But be careful, the roads are narrow and very twisting! But we have forgotten to take a new roll of film, so we can't make any pictures.
During the day the sun has reappeared and the temperature has risen to an agreeable 28°C. We are back at the campsite around 5 and it is still nice enough to have a swim in the swimming pool.


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