We left Orem and headed to Guimaraes where we would be spending one night. On the way we stopped In Coimbra to look at the University of Coimbra and walk around the town.
The University of Coimbra is a Portuguese public university. It was established in 1290 in Lisbon and went through a number of relocating until it was moved permanently to Coimbra in 1537. It is one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university in Portugal and one of the its largest higher education and research institutions. There were a lot of tourists and tour groups wandering around but we saw hardly any students.
I peeked inside a few of the classrooms. The seating did not look very comfortable. The university's historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.
A photograph overlooking the city, taken from the university.
We did spend some time walking around the town and having lunch. The old buildings were quite colourful.
I wandered into the Monastery of Santa Cruz. Notice the beautiful blue tiles on the wall, so typical of Portugal. Because the first two kings of of Portugal are buried in the church, it was granted the status of National Pantheon. Founded in 1131 outside the protecting walls of Coimbra, the Monastery was the most important monastic house during the early days of the Portuguese monarchy.
We ate outside of a local cafe. Inside these two students? were painting.
These meringues looked really good with beautiful packaging. The pastry shop located in downtown Coimbra opened in 1955 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious bakeries in the city. It looks like the meringues won an award in 2014.
Our hotel in Guimaraes, Pousada Santa Marinha, was on a hill overlooking the historical city of Guimaraes. The Agostinhos Convent was built in the 12th century and was initially a school of higher studies for the monks of the Ordre of Saint Agostinho. The building was in derelict condition in the 20th century following a fire. Fortunately it was restored into this beautiful Pousada and in 1985 won the National Architecture award. Luxurious pieces of furniture from the convent's estate were used and beautiful rooms were created out of the monks' cells. We really enjoyed our stay in this hotel.
Guimaraes in a northern Portuguese city with a population of about 52,000. It is a historical city (seemed like all Portugal cities were) that had an important role in the formation of Portugal. The city was settled in the 9th century, at which time it was called Vimaranes. Because the city is one of the country's most important historical cities, its historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the largest tourist centers in the region. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the historical centre and photographing the people.
I mostly photographed the people in the streets. There was a Renaissance festival taking place. You could almost picture yourself in medieval times given the historic buildings and people wearing the historic costumers.
Not everyone was dressed up
We spoke to this lady for quite a while as she explained the process of her art. Apparently there is still quite a demand for these products.
Some of the children enjoyed dressing up for the festival.
Most of the people were happy to pose.
Gretchen started talking to these young women and with the great light, I took a shot.
Our last stop before heading back to the hotel.
Looking outside from the hallway in the hotel.
The last shot of the day taken inside the courtyard (cloisters) of the hotel. It was such an interesting place to stay.