It stands as an iconic symbol of the city and its history for centuries.
The arch was built during the 12th century by King Afonso Henriques to mark the entrance to Coimbra’s old Moorish castle. The gate was constructed from granite and limestone blocks that were brought from nearby quarries. Its two towers are connected by a central archway, which is decorated with carvings depicting various figures such as saints and kings.
In addition to being an impressive architectural feat, Almedina Arch also has great historical significance for Coimbra’s residents. During its time, it served as a fortified gateway between the Christian kingdom of Portugal and the Islamic kingdoms of Spain. As such, it played an important role in protecting both sides during times of conflict while allowing trade to continue uninterruptedly between them.
Today, visitors can still explore this ancient structure up close thanks to its recent renovation project which saw its original features restored back to their former glory after years of neglect due to war damage suffered over time. Although much smaller than when originally built, Almedina Arch remains one of Coimbra’s most visited attractions, with people coming from near and far just so they can experience this unique piece of history first-hand.