SITE VISITS & TOURS

SITE VISITS | 26 SEPTEMBER 2017

On Tuesday morning, you can learn more about Coimbra, the University and the city, by joining one of the two walking site visits. These visits are only available to registered delegates.

Site Visit 1: From the Palace to the College (University of Coimbra World Heritage)

Departure Time: 10:00am | Place: Largo da Porta Férrea (View map)
Arrival Time: 12:30pm | Place: Largo da Porta Férrea (View map)
Fee: 20€ (to include entrances/tickets and guides)

Venue 1

Paço das Escolas
Photo credit: Henrique Patrício

The University of Coimbra is the oldest Portuguese University and for centuries the only University in Portugal. Founded in 1290 by King Dinis in Lisbon, it was permanently settled in Coimbra in 1537, by order of King João III, after a period of migration between these two cities.

We begin the visit at the Palace of Schools which holds the former Royal Palace(Great Hall of Acts, Private Examination Roomand Arms Room), the Chapel of St. Michaeland the world famous Baroque Library.

Near the Palace of Schools is another important monument: the oldest Jesuit Collegein the world. This building was renewed after the University studies reforms, driven by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772. There you can get to know the Physics Laboratory and the Natural History Collection dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The old collections of the actual Science Museum, will offer an idea of the evolution of the modern sciences studies at the University.
Since June 2013, the University of Coimbra is classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its unquestionable value by spreading Portuguese Culture throughout the world and for its important role in the history of our country.
Source: http://www.uc.pt/en/informacaopara/visit/paco (22.03.2017)

Only available to registered delegates.

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Site Visit 2: Coimbra, a World Heritage City*

Departure Time: 10:00am | Place: Praça Dom Dinis (View map)
Arrival Time: 12:30pm | Place: Monastery of Santa Cruz (View map)
Fee: free of charge (guided visit)

*This trip is not recommended for participants with walking disabilities

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On the banks of the river Mondego, Coimbrais famous for its University, the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe, which over time has shaped its image to become "the city of students".

We begin this visit at the University founded in the XIIIth century, and which UNESCO has placed on its list of World Heritage sites in a classification that also includes Rua da Sofia and the upper part of the city. The visit continues to see the outside of Machado de Castro National Museum that contains the Roman Cryptoporticus among a collection of great value, introducing you to the history of the city. The Sé Velha(Old Cathedral) shows the steps on the monumental serenade. These stairs are the place where students, dressed in black capes, sing the Coimbra Fado with heartfelt emotion. This liveliness is felt throughout the year in the city life, namely in the “Repúblicas” (student residences). The visit ends at the Monastery of Santa Cruzthat houses the tomb of the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques.
Source: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/node/73754 (16.05.2017)

Only available to registered delegates

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SITE VISITS | 27 & 28 SEPTEMBER 2017

During the conference you can discover more about Coimbra region by joining one of the three site visits. These visits are available to accompanying persons.

Site Visit A – Roman Legacy | 27 September 2017 (afternoon only)

Departure Time: 1:30pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 6:30pm | Place: Machado de Castro National Museum (View map)
Fee: 25€ (includes transportation, entrances/tickets and guides)

The Romans have left the world a rich and varied legacy. We will visit the ruins of the 1st century B.C. Conimbriga roman village (at Condeixa-a-Velha village; 25 km from Coimbra).

The visitors will also go to The PO.RO.S Museum, at Condeixa-a-Nova, which enhances the rich and varied legacy of Rome and invites the visitors to a trip in history of Romanization around this region. The visitors return to Coimbra and finish the visit at the Cryptoportico of Machado de Castro National Museum.This place was erected by the Roman administration in the middle of the 1st century, to support a building that became the political, administrative and religious centre of Aeminium Roman Coimbra. It offers many evidences about the importance of the Romans in shaping the urban territory of this region.

Note: minimum of 10 participants necessary.

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Site Visit B – Countryside & Villages | 27 September 2017

Departure Time: 09:00am | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 6:00pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Lunch: restaurant in Lousã
Fee: 35€ (includes transportation, lunch, entrances/tickets and guides)

This visit passes through the most interesting places of natural, human and cultural of Serra da Lousã Landscape (Mountains of Lousã). The Serra da Lousã is a natural habitat of cork oaks, chestnuts, oaks and pine trees for deer, wild boars and roe deer, which harbours many "schist villages". In this visit, you will see a group of small mountain villages with narrow streets, in which schist predominates (e.g. Talasnal, Candal). The landscapes are breath-taking from Alto do Trevim. At 1204 metres, this schist mountain top offers a view over the Serra da Lousã Landscape (Mountains of Lousã). From Castelo de Arouce, the Lousã castle, you can see small chapels scattered across the mountain, e.g. the Nossa Senhora da Piedade hermitage. This fortress is located over a rocky promontory in the valley of Arouce river stream. This castle was a strategic place during the period of the Christian Conquer, for it sustained the Moorish invasions.

Note: minimum of 10 participants necessary.

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Site Visit C – Natural heritage, health and wellness | 28 September 2017

Departure Time: 08:30am | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 6:00pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Lunch: restaurant in Mealhada
Fee: 47€ (it includes transportation, lunch, entrances/tickets and guides)

This trip starts at the Botanic Garden of the University of Coimbra and finishes at one Cellar of the Wine region of Bairrada. Located in the heart of the city of Coimbra, the Botanic Garden covers a total area of more than 13 ha, since 1772. The plant collections, which occupy every corner of the Garden, take us on a journey to distinct latitudes and regions of the world, thus transforming the Garden into a living museum. From there, the visitors will go to Luso, a Historical Thermal Resort. The therapeutic effects of Luso Thermal Water are recognized since the XVIII century. In Luso we can visit the Thermal Baths and Spa (with the Aesthetics and Acqua fronts) and the Medical Centre (with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). Then visitors will walk through Mata Nacional do Bussaco (Bussaco National Woods), which displays relevant historical, religious, military, botanical, architectural and cultural elements in a landscape. Afterwards the visit continues with the Bussaco Palace Hotel, a jewel of Portuguese architecture and history and formerly the home of kings. The indescribable beauty of the Serra do Bussaco with its centuries` old trees, allows the recovery of perfect harmony between body, mind and soul. The final stop will be at a Cellar of the Wine Region of Bairrada

Note: minimum of 15 participants necessary.

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Post Conference Tours | 30 SEPTEMBER 2017

During the weekend we are delighted to invite participants to visit Porto city and the North Region of Portugal. Places are limited so please book early! A minimum of 20 participants is required to run each tour. These visits are available to accompanying persons too.

Tour 1 – Porto | 30 September 2017

Departure Time: 08:00am | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 8:00pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Lunch:  Restaurant in city centre of Porto
Fee: 70€ (includes transportation, lunch, entrances/tickets and guides)

Porto is a city of 230.000 inhabitants with just 40km2. But it is also the main centre of a one million 100km2 urban conglomerate, and part of a multi-centric metropolitan region in a 80km semicircle where 1/3 of the population of Portugal lives.

It has a long history, governed by a bishop before nationality and until the 16th century, it had no nobles as they were not allowed to live or even sleep. The essentiality of its architectural relevance can be found in churches and monasteries, in the middle of streets and houses from different time periods. With a significant British community after the Methuen treaty (1703), that promoted port wine, it is only natural that the 19th century Industrial Revolution was particularly intense here.

Nowadays, urban rehabilitation, regeneration, revitalization and "touristification" have been all significant processes in a city recently acclaimed for the 3rd time as Europe's Best Destination. Conflicts of poor vs rich, residents vs tourists, and between local shops/restaurants vs functional gentrification are predominant. But it seems that Porto is being able to honour its history of a city being open to the world and very proud of its special character.

The visit begins at Porto city centre, at Sé do Porto(Cathedral of Porto) and continues walking to the Cais da Ribeira(Ribeira Wharf). After this, the Cais de Gaia(Gaia Wharf) and the Graham’s Lodge Cellars will be visited.
Author: José A. Rio Fernandes (04.03.2017)

Note: minimum of 20 participants necessary.

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Tour 2 – Guimarães | 30 September 2017


Departure Time: 08:00am | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 8:00pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Lunch: restaurant in city centre of Guimarães
Fee: 75€ (includes transportation, lunch, entrances/tickets and guides)

Guimarães is considered the birthplace of Portugal because Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born here.In this area, the historical centre was within the Guimarães city walls. It is associated with the formation and identity of Portugal, and was classified a World Heritage site based on the originality and authenticity applied in its restoration. The city still has a harmonious, well-preserved heritage which is evident in the graceful iron verandas, granite balconies and porticos, mansions, arches connecting the narrow streets, paving slabs smoothed by time, towers and cloisters. For a moment, you might imagine yourself to be in a mediaeval setting, where the nobility built their houses over time, such as the Mota Prego house, the Vila Flor and Toural palaces, and the many others that give Guimarães its unique atmosphere.

The visit begins at the historic city centre of Guimarães passing through Largo da Oliveira(Oliveira Square), Castle of Guimarães and Palace of the Dukes of Bragança.
Source: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/node/73742 (23.03.2017)

Note: minimum of 20 participants necessary.

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Tour 3 – Braga | 30 September 2017

Departure Time: 08:00am | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)
Arrival Time: 8:00pm | Place: Convent São Francisco Convention Centre (Coimbra) (View map)

Lunch: restaurant in city centre of Braga
Fee: 75€ (includes transportation, lunch, entrances/tickets and guides)

Braga is a city of great beauty and heritage richness, which combines tradition with innovation, the memory to the youth and creativity to conservatism.

With over 2000 years of a very rich history, possesses one of the oldest Sacro-Montes in Europe and is the representative of the Minho region, the Bom Jesus. In Braga, we can find the oldest Portuguese Cathedral (Sé de Braga).

Braga presents places that by their intrinsic devotion and beauty, impose themselves as mandatory benchmarks to visit.

The Roman legacy is another of the attractive factors of Braga, often called ‘Portuguese Rome’, due to its origin in the Roman city of Bracara Augusta. Known by its distinct churches, splendid XVIII century houses, gardens, nature parks and recreational areas. Braga’s long history is visible in the splendor of its monuments, museums and churches.

The visit starts at the historic city centre of Braga(around the Roman and the medieval city part), passing through ancient castle’s keep, St. Bárbara gardens, Porta Nova Archand Sé de Braga(Cathedral of Braga).
Source: https://www.cm-braga.pt/en/0101/conhecer/seja-bem-vindo-a-braga (23.03.2017)

Note: minimum of 20 participants necessary.

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