There is a lost city under Coimbra, but few people know it!
A hidden city that is located beneath Coimbra has thousands of years, yet is unknown by most. They called him Aeminium, and today is a vestige only. Aeminium was an important trading post, the residence of the monarchs Henrique and Teresa, the birthplace of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, and finally an university town and of knowledge.
The old Aeminium left traces in the present. One of them is the Roman cryptoporticus, located in the Machado de Castro Museum. The oldest traces of Aeminium dating from the Roman era, when people founded the city in collaboration and always protected by Conimbriga nearby, just 16 kilometers away, in the town of Condeixa-a-Nova.
However, when the Swabians looted and destroyed Conimbriga, in 465 and 468 A.D., its inhabitants had to flee to Aeminium, increasing the local population and helping the city to prosper and grow.
The most important of these traces is the cryptoporticus, a gallery of underground tunnels with several arches on top, built to withstand the Roman Forum’s ancient Aeminium. During the Middle Ages, the palace of a clergyman was built on the forum, building that currently houses the Machado de Castro Museum and hiding the cryptoporticus, which can be visited entering the museum.
The artificial platform that supported the structure remained unchanged until the present day and, for the first time in history, the public has full access to the forum, an experience that can be enhanced by the recent discoveries.