Coimbra is a very beautiful and peaceful town situated on the Mondego River, approximately 185 km Northeast of Lisbon and 98 km Southeast of Oporto. The city of Coimbra served as the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1385, and was the birthplace of six monarchs from the portuguese 1st Dynasty. Noted for its cultural traditions and artistic treasures, Coimbra was long the intellectual capital of Portugal and remains one of its most picturesque cities. With its suburb of Santa Clara, the city spreads out along the two sides of the Mondego River. The older part of the city, with its narrow, crooked streets, is on a hill. Below it on all sides are the newer, more regularly patterned city districts.