Eliana Tomaz

In Portugal, With Love - Coimbra

Eliana TomazComment
Coimbra served the country's capital during the First Dynasty (12th Century) and remains home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world and one of the oldest in Europe since 1290.
Instead of posting photos on the old city’s architecture I thought it would be interesting to share the contemporary side of it. Coimbra’s riverside has been regenerated and the outcome is just perfectly well blended. Hope you like it.

Pedro and Inês Footbridge.
In 2006 it was completed a footbridge designed by Cecil Balmond from ARUP with Engineer António Adão da Fonseca. The Pedro and Inês Bridge is named after an age-old story of love.
“Pedro, son and heir of King Afonso IV, was forced to marry Princess Constanza of Navarre even though he was in love with Galician noblewoman, Inês de Castro. Constanza died while still young and Pedro fled to live with Inês in Coimbra. However, the king disapproved, believing that her family was a potential threat to the Portuguese throne. He had Inês murdered in Coimbra's Quinta das Lágrimas Palace in 1355, breaking Pedro’s heart."

"On the king's death, Pedro succeeded to the throne and took immediate revenge on the two killers by having their hearts torn out. He then announced that he had secretly married Inês and had her corpse exhumed and crowned. The court was forced to acknowledge her as queen by kneeling before her and kissing her decomposed hand. Their tombs now lie in the abbey at Alcobaça where, at Pedro's wish, they are placed foot to foot so that when they arise on the Day of Judgment, the couple will immediately see each other."

"The essence of the tragic tale of Pedro and Inês could be metaphorically seen by the people of Coimbra in the two walkways that push outwards from the opposing banks towards the centre of the river but then curve away from each other, destined never to meet. Only the addition of a central meeting point enables pedestrians to cross the river.” – ARUP

For more info on this beautiful bridge, check The Guardian’s article.

Bridge’s North View.

Bridge’s South View.

Part of the Regeneration City’s Program.
(Unfortunately I don’t know who’s this project is)

In perspective.

City’s Detail.

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PS – Coimbra is a fantastic City Break.