Arco de Almedina (Almedina Arch), Coimbra

Arco de Almedina (Almedina Arch), Coimbra

In the 11th century the Arab conqueror Almansor rebuilt the walls around the conquered city of Coimbra. Only three gates permitted entrance to the citadel. Since that time almost all of the wall with exception of one gate have gone missing. The Almedina Arch, with its tower, Almadina Tower, form the only surviving medieval gate.

The arch is a vaulted arch and tunnel. "Almedina" is derived from the Arabic word for "town." The arched tunnels were defensive choke points designed to slow invaders. The tower over the Almedina Arch provided additional defensive functions. It was also a center for meetings of the municipal council.

A bell at the top of the tower would announce meetings of the council. The bell would also announce openings and closings of the city gates. The bell routine was followed faithfully until 1870. The tower once held a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception. Mass was celebrated in the chapel before meetings of the Council.

In 1835 a better space was found for meetings and the tower was used off and on by other entities. Since 1988 it has been used to house Municipal Historical Archives. Passing through the arch one finds the Rua de Cuebra Costas (Backbreak Street). This aptly named street is a steep, exhausting climb to the old Cathedral of Coimbra.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Coimbra. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Arco de Almedina (Almedina Arch) on Map

Sight Name: Arco de Almedina (Almedina Arch)
Sight Location: Coimbra, Portugal (See walking tours in Coimbra)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Coimbra, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Coimbra

Create Your Own Walk in Coimbra

Creating your own self-guided walk in Coimbra is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Amid the array of historic buildings narrating the cultural and architectural heritage of Coimbra, Portugal, there are both secular structures and great churches, dating back centuries. Apart from their historical value, these buildings exemplify the resplendent European architecture of the past, featuring Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo, and other styles. Some of them are richly decorated on the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Coimbra Introduction Walking Tour

Coimbra Introduction Walking Tour

The ancient Roman city of Aeminium, by the Mondego River, eventually became the city of Coimbra. The modern Machado de Castro National Museum rests on the remains of a medieval bishop's palace. The palace was supported by an old cryptoporticus and Roman forum. The forum was the seed of the political and religious center of a city always reborn.

For more than 100 years Aeminium was held by...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles