Visit.uc.pt is the site of the day on Awwwards!
Visit.uc.pt is the site of the day on CSS Design Awards!

VISIT Universidade de Coimbra

University of Coimbra

The oldest University in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world.

Learn More

Since 1290

Learn Our History

History

By signing the "Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis", D. Dinis created the oldest University in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world.

The history of the University of Coimbra dates back to the century subsequent to the very foundation of the Portuguese nation, since the University was established in the 13th century, in 1290.

Prior to this date, in 1288, a Supplication was made to Pope Nicholas IV (of which only the transcription is known) on 17 November 1288, which was signed by the abbots of the Monasteries of Alcobaça, Santa Cruz of Coimbra, and S. Vicente of Lisbon, and by the superiors of 24 churches and convents of the Kingdom.

This document requested the foundation of a “General Study” and stated that its running would be the responsibility of those religious institutions. It is not known whether the Supplication reached the Holy See or not.

The links below list the main historic landmarks of the University of Coimbra, with references to the history of Portugal, and the appointment of all the rectors of the institution from the 13th century to the present day.

XIII - XVI

  •  

    1290

    Creation of the Portuguese General Study by means of the document “Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis” signed by King Dinis (1 March) and confirmed by the bull “De statu regni Portugaliae” issued by Pope Nicholas IV (9 August), which comprised the Faculties of Arts, Canonical Law (Canons), Civil Law (Laws), and Medicine. The University begins its activity in Lisbon.

  •  

    1308

    The General Study is transferred to Coimbra; it is moved back to Lisbon in 1338 and back again to Coimbra in1354; it returns to Lisbon in 1377 and is definitively established in Coimbra in 1537.

  •  

    1309

    The General Study receives its first Statutes with the name of “Charta magna privilegiorum”.

  •  

    1380

    Theology, formerly reserved to Dominican and Franciscan convents, becomes part of university education in Portugal.

  •  

    1537

    The University is definitively established in Coimbra. Assumption of Coimbra as the Portuguese university city and beginning of the creation of various colleges in the city.

  •  

    1544

    All the Faculties of the University of Coimbra are assembled in the Páteo das Escolas.

  •  

    1597

    Acquisition of the Paço da Alcáçova from Dom Philip I by the sum of 30,000 cruzados, which was immediately named Paço das Escolas.

XVII - XIX

  •  

    1772

    The University receives the “Pombaline Statutes”, which, among other aspects, created the Faculties of Mathematics and of Natural Philosophy (Sciences), and reforms the studies of Medicine. The reform of education required by these statutes creates the need for new scientific institutions and results in the construction of buildings designed to house the Chemical Laboratory, the Astronomic Observatory, the University Press, and the initial centre of the Botanical Garden.

  •  

    1773

    Beginning of the setting up of the Museum of Natural History, the oldest Portuguese museum, subdivided into sectors in 1885, from which the following four institutions resulted: Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy and Geology, and Anthropology. The Experimental Physics Office comes into operation.

  •  

    1836

    The Faculties of Laws and Canons are merged into the new Faculty of Law.

XX - XXI

  •  

    1911

    “Republican Statutes”. Dissolution of the Faculty of Theology and creation of the Faculty of Humanities, which receives the professors of the former Faculty. Conjunction of the old Faculties of Mathematics and of Natural Philosophy to give place to the Faculty of Sciences.

  •  

    1921

    Foundation of the Faculty of Pharmacy.

  •  

    1948

    Renovation of the Alta Universitária (the upper part of Coimbra where the University campus is sited): Inauguration of the building of the University Archives.

  •  

    1951

    Renovation of the Alta Universitária: Inauguration of the building of the Faculty of Humanities and Astronomic Observatory.

  •  

    1956

    Renovation of the Alta Universitária: Inauguration of the building of the Main Library and the building of the Faculty of Medicine.

  •  

    1961

    Inauguration of the University Stadium complex, on the left bank of the River Mondego.

  •  

    1969

    Renovation of the Alta Universitária: Inauguration of the building designed for the Department of Mathematics. Academic crisis of 1969.

  •  

    1972

    Transformation of the Faculty of Sciences into the Faculty of Science and Technology. Creation of the Faculty of Economics.

  •  

    1975

    Renovation of the Alta Universitária: Inauguration of the building of the Departments of Physics and Chemistry.

  •  

    1980

    Creation of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences.

  •  

    1987

    Transfer of the University Hospitals to their new facilities by the future Health Sciences Campus.

  •  

    1992

    Beginning of the works leading up to the setting up of Campus II of the University of Coimbra.

  •  

    1997

    Creation of the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education.

  •  

    2001

    Initial works at the Health Sciences Campus of the University of Coimbra, to which the Faculty of Medicine as well as the Faculty of Pharmacy and several research centres and units will be transferred.

XXI >

Credits

Project Management

InterFranchising

Design & Development

Bürocratik

Multimedia Content

Ez-Team

References

de Faria Costa, J. F., & da Cruz Coelho, M. H. (2009).
A Universidade de Coimbra Tangivel e Intangivel.
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.

Maia do Amaral, A. E. (2009).
Tesouros da Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra.
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.

Pimentel, A. F., & Agostinho, R. (2006).
A Universidade de Coimbra: Uma visita a partir Páteo.
GCI-UC.

Torgal, L. R. (2003).
A Universidade de Coimbra.
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.