Universidade de Coimbra Alta e Sofia — Candidatura a património mundial


UNESCO has recognized three criteria that justify the inscription of the University, Alta and Sofia in the World Heritage List.

Criterion II

Exhibit an important exchange of human values over a given period of time, or within a particular cultural area, on the development of architecture, technology, monumental arts, town planning or landscape design.

Over its seven centuries of history it has performed an absolutely irrefutable role as a centre of production and transmission of knowledge, within a geographical area that covers four continents – the ones corresponding to the ancient Portuguese Empire. The University of Coimbra — Alta and Sofia has used over this period, but mostly after its settlement in the city of Coimbra, the cultural, artistic and ideological influences of the former empire context inspired particularly by the pioneer charisma of the Portuguese Discoveries. While doing so, it received and disseminated knowledge throughout the fields of arts, sciences, law, architecture, town planning and landscape.

Criterion IV

Offer an outstanding example of a type of construction and of an architectural, technological or landscape ensemble, which illustrates significant periods of human history.

The University of Coimbra — Alta e Sofia is an extraordinary architectural set that, simultaneously, illustrates the several purposes of a university created in the Middle Ages, and the various significant periods of the Portuguese architecture and art, as well as of a national geographical and cultural space – the former Portuguese Empire.

Its history is closely connected with the ideological, pedagogical and cultural reformations, which hold a direct correlation to a material dimension. Through its set, the University represents a long cultural genesis, always present, active and architecturally and aesthetically verifiable in the several buildings that constitute it, and that are located in the World Heritage classified areas – Alta and Sofia.

Criterion VI

Be directly or tangibly associated to events or living traditions, ideas, beliefs or artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

The University of Coimbra — Alta and Sofia has had a unique role in the formation and unity of the Portuguese language, and has contributed for the dissemination of its educated norm. It has distinguished itself from early on, as an important centre for the production of literature and the dissemination of new ideas. The university has hosted several of the writers responsible for the transmission of our language and culture. For a long time, it was the only university in the whole geographical area of Portuguese administration, and its action spread in the education of professionals who then moved to the continent, the islands and the overseas territories, up to the moment of their independence. Hence, it educated the elites and contributed towards making the movements of resistance.

The universality of this university is very much alive throughout the world, since many are the students who are still influenced by its history and its culture, and maintain the exchange of ideas and knowledge.



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