Paço das Escolas is dominated by one of the most symbolic structures in Coimbra, its 17th century tower which holds the clock and bells that regulate academic life. It was built in 1537 when the university, which was about to be established at King John III’s palace, insisted that “there could be no order without a clock”.

Thus, the proverbial goat was deemed responsible for the start of study hours in every eve before school days. According to the old praxe (academic tradition), a student who is on the first year of university cannot be on the street after the bell tolls.

Guided visits to the Tower of the University of Coimbra
Every day at 11:00 | 15:00 | 16:00
Except on December 25th and 26th and January 1st and 2nd

Guided visits to Páteo das Escolas
From November 1st to Holy Friday
Everyday from 09:30 to 17:30
Weekends 10:30 to 16:30

Rest of the year
09:00 to 19:20 (Joanine Library) and 10 19:30 (other sites)