A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading, or inside a vehicle getting its wheels wet. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, a ford is a much cheaper form of river crossing than a bridge, but it may become impassable after heavy rain or during flood conditions. A ford is therefore only suitable for very minor roads. Most modern fords are usually enough to be crossed by cars. In New Zealand, fords are a part of major roads, until 2010. As most inter-city domestic passengers travel by air and as much cargo goes by sea, long distance road traffic is low, in dry weather, drivers become aware of a ford by crunching across outwash detritus on the roadway. A Bailey bridge may be built off the line of the road to carry emergency traffic during high water. At places where the water is enough, but the material on the riverbed will not support heavy vehicles. In such cases a curb is often placed on the side to prevent vehicles slipping off.
Fords may be equipped with a post indicating the water depth. Some have an adjacent footbridge so that pedestrians may cross without getting their feet wet, a road running below the water level of a stream or river is often known as a watersplash. It is a name for a ford or stretch of wet road in some areas. They have become a feature in rallying courses. There are enthusiasts who seek out and drive through these water features, there are many old fords known as watersplashes in the United Kingdom. Examples are at Brockenhurst in Hampshire, Wookey in Somerset, some of these are being replaced by bridges as these are a more reliable form of crossing in adverse weather conditions. The Dean Ford in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, is mentioned in the deeds of this property, the ford has had to be maintained as a property boundary feature, despite several cars a year being washed away. Not just a British phenomenon, some very spectacular versions of the feature can be found in diverse locations. Australia has the Gulf Savannah, and others may be found in Canada, South Africa and they are found on some Tennessee backroads, where they are referred to as underwater bridges
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)
In the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the French Marshal Michel Ney took the fortified city from Field Marshal Don Andrés Perez de Herrasti on 10 July 1810 after a siege that began on 26 April. Neys VI Corps made up part of a 65, 000-strong army commanded by André Masséna, Herrasti commanded 3 regular battalions from the Avila, Segovia and 1st Majorca Infantry Regiments,375 artillerymen and 60 sappers. These troops were supplemented by 3 battalions of the Volunteers of Ciudad Rodrigo and 1 battalion of the Urban Guard. Viscount Wellington was not however prepared to meet the French in open battle, as he was greatly outnumbered, Herrasti met Ney at the foot of the breach and having been offered the chance of an honourable capitulation, accepted. Ney promised that the people and property of the inhabitants of the city would be respected, all the men who had participated in the defence, and the members of the Central Junta who had encouraged it, would be taken as prisoners to France. The Spanish suffered 461 killed and 994 wounded, while 4,000 men and 118 cannon were captured, Neys VI Corps lost 180 killed and over 1,000 wounded during the siege.
The French soldiery pillaged the city, breaking Neys promise, the siege delayed Massénas invasion of Portugal by over a month. French troops advanced, following up the retreating British fought the Battle of the Côa soon after, the Siege of Almeida was started and ended suddenly with a massive explosion of the fortress magazine on 26 August. With all obstacles cleared from their path, the French could march on Lisbon in strength, the lines were designed to enable a successful defence of Lisbon and avoid a British evacuation of the peninsular, as had happened after the Battle of Corunna in January 1809. A second Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo occurred in January 1812, with the French being besieged this time, the French Campaign in Portugal 1810–1811, An Account by Jean Jacques Pelet. History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Vol I, The Institution of Royal Engineers
Battle of Bussaco
Having occupied the heights of Bussaco with 25,000 British and the same number of Portuguese, Wellington was attacked five times successively by 65,000 French under Marshal André Masséna. In 1810, Emperor Napoleon I ordered Masséna to drive the British from Portugal, the French marshal began the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in April. The Spanish garrison held out until 9 July when the fortress fell, the Battle of the Côa was fought soon after. The Siege of Almeida ended suddenly with an explosion of the fortress magazine on 26 August. With all obstacles cleared from their path, the French could march on Lisbon in strength and it was important to delay the French until the defences being built around Lisbon, the Lines of Torres Vedras could be completed. Using selective demolition of bridges and roads, Viscount Wellington restricted the choice of routes the French could use, at the end of September, they met Wellingtons army drawn up on the ridge of Bussaco. BG George DeGrey, BG John Slade, BG George Anson and BG Henry Fane led four British cavalry brigades, in batteries of six guns apiece, there were six British, two Kings German Legion and five Portuguese batteries under BG Edward Howorth.
The Anglo Portuguese army numbered 50,000, with 50% Portuguese troops. Massénas army of 60,000 included the II Corps under Reynier, the VI Corps led by Ney, the VIII Corps under MG Jean Andoche Junot, the divisions of MG Pierre Hugues Victoire Merle and MG Étienne Heudelet de Bierre made up Reyniers corps. Neys corps had three divisions under MGs Jean Marchand, Julien Mermet and Louis Loison, Junot had the divisions of MG Bertrand Clausel and MG Jean-Baptiste Solignac. Each French corps contained the standard brigade of light cavalry, General of Brigade Jean Baptiste Eblé, Massénas artillery chief, commanded 112 guns. Wellington posted his army along the crest of Bussaco Ridge, facing east, to improve his lateral communications, he had previously ordered his four officers from the Royal Corps of Engineers to cut a road that ran the length of the ridge on the reverse slope. Next came Craufurd, Spencer and Leith, hill held the right flank with Hamiltons men attached. Masséna, believing he outnumbered the British and goaded by Ney and other officers to attack the British position rather than go around it.
Very few of Wellingtons troops were visible, as they remained on the slope and were ordered not to light cooking fires. The French General planned to send Reynier at the centre of the ridge, once the II Corps attack showed some signs of success, Masséna would launch Neys corps at the British along the main road. The VIII Corps stood behind the VI Corps in reserve, while Ney announced that he was ready to attack and conquer, Reynier suddenly had second thoughts, predicting his attack would be beaten. Reyniers troops struck in the morning mist
Michel Ney, 1st Duc dElchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa, popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon and he was known as Le Rougeaud by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves by Napoleon. Michel Ney was born in the town of Sarrelouis, in the French province of the Three Bishoprics and he was the second son of Pierre Ney, a master barrel-cooper and veteran of the Seven Years War, and his wife Margarethe Grewelinger. He was the grandson of Matthias Ney and wife Margarethe Becker. His hometown at the time of his birth comprised a French enclave in a predominantly German region of Saarland and he was educated at the Collège des Augustins, became a notary in Saarlouis and subsequently became an overseer of mines and forges. Life as a civil servant did not suit Ney, and he enlisted in the Colonel-General Hussar Regiment in 1787, under the Bourbon Monarchy entry to the officer corps of the French Army was restricted to those with four quarterings of nobility.
However, Ney rapidly rose through the officer ranks. He served in the Army of the North from 1792 to 1794, with which he saw action at the Cannonade of Valmy, the Battle of Neerwinden, and other engagements. After the dissolution of the monarchy in September of 1792, Ney was commissioned as an officer in October, transferred to the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in June 1794, Ney was promoted to général de brigade in August 1796, and commanded cavalry on the German fronts. On 17 April 1797, during the Battle of Neuwied, Ney led a charge against Austrian lancers trying to seize French cannons. The lancers were beaten back, but Ney’s cavalry were counter-attacked by heavy cavalry, during the mêlée, Ney was thrown from his horse and captured in the vicinity of the municipality of Dierdorf, on 8 May he was exchanged for an Austrian general. Following the capture of Mannheim, Ney was promoted to géneral de division in March 1799, in 1799, Ney commanded cavalry in the armies of Switzerland and the Danube.
At Winterthur Ney received wounds in the thigh and wrist, after recovering he fought at Hohenlinden under General Moreau in December 1800. From September 1802, Ney commanded French troops in Switzerland and performed diplomatic duties, on 19 May 1804, Ney received his Marshals baton, emblematic of his status as a Marshal of the Empire, the Napoleonic eras equivalent of Marshal of France. In the 1805 campaign, Ney took command of VI Corps of the Grande Armée and was praised for his conduct at Elchingen, in November 1805, Ney invaded the Tyrol, capturing Innsbruck from Archduke John. In the 1806 campaign, Ney fought at Jena and occupied Erfurt, in the campaign, Ney successfully besieged Magdeburg. In the 1807 campaign, Ney arrived with reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eylau, in the campaign, Ney fought at Güttstadt and commanded the right wing at Friedland. On 6 June 1808, Ney was created Duke of Elchingen, in August 1808, he was sent to Spain in command of VI Corps and won a number of minor actions
Two of the creations are extant as of 2010. The Erskine Baronetcy, of Alva in the County of Fife, was created in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia on 30 April 1666 for Charles Erskine, the third Baronet was one of the Scottish representatives to the 1st Parliament of Great Britain and represented Clackmannanshire. The fourth Baronet was killed in action at the Battle of Lauffeld in 1747, the fifth Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Ayr Burghs and Anstruther Easter Burghs. He married Janet, daughter of Peter Wedderburn and sister of Alexander Wedderburn and their son, the sixth Baronet, succeeded to the earldom of Rosslyn in 1805 according to a special remainder in the letters patent. For further history of the baronetcy, see Earl of Rosslyn, the Erskine Baronetcy, of Cambo in the County of Fife, was created in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia on 20 August 1666 for Charles Erskine. He was a brother of Alexander Erskine, 3rd Earl of Kellie. The second Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Fife, the eighth Baronet succeeded to the earldom of Kellie in 1797.
The baronetcy remained a title of the earldom until the baronetcys extinction in 1829. The Erskine Baronetcy, of Torrie in the County of Fife, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain on 28 July 1791 for the soldier William Erskine and he was the son of Colonel the Hon. William Erskine, younger son of David Erskine, 2nd Lord Cardross. His eldest son, the second Baronet, was a prominent soldier, the latters two younger brothers, the third and fourth Baronets, both succeeded in the title. The title became extinct on the death of the fourth Baronet in 1836, the Erskine Baronetcy, of Cambo in the County of Fife, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 27 August 1821 for David Erskine. He was the grandson of Thomas Erskine, 9th Earl of Kellie. The original baronetcy of Cambo became extinct on the death of the tenth Earl of Kellie in 1829, the second Baronet was a Deputy Lieutenant of Denbighshire. The third Baronet was a Deputy Lieutenant of Fife, the fifth Baronet was Convenor of the Fife County Council between 1970 and 1973 and Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Fife between 1981 and 1987.
The title has descended in a line from father to son. Sir James Malcolm Monteith Erskine, second son of Captain David Holland Erskine, second son of the first Baronet and his son Sir Derek Quick Erskine was a member of the Legislative Council of Kenya. The Erskine Baronetcy, of Rerrick, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 5 July 1961, for more information on this creation, see Baron Erskine of Rerrick. -Col. See Baron Erskine of Rerrick Earl of Kellie Erskine-Hill baronets Kidd, Williamson, new York, St Martins Press,1990, Leigh Rayments list of baronets
Siege of Astorga
The Siege of Astorga was an attempt by French forces to capture Astorga, Spain in a campaign of the Peninsular War. Astorga was located on the flank of the French invasion of Spain and Portugal, for several weeks no attack took place, as neither side had artillery enough to fight well. Shortly after the French guns arrived, however, a hole was made in the wall, the French overpowered the Spanish garrison inside and took the city on April 20,1810, with a loss of 160 men. Astorga is located in the province of León, in northwest Spain, because of its location, it sat on the flank of the French army as they advanced into Spain, and invaded Portugal. The city was built into a hill, part of the Manzanal mountains, the French had already been defeated once trying to take the city, in September 1809, after which General La Romana repaired the walls of the city and built up its defenses. The French forces, part of André Massénas army, were led by Jean-Andoche Junot, Junot arrived at Astorga on March 21 with Napoleons 8th corps, consisting of 12,000 men, including 1,200 cavalry forces.
Junots forces included the Irish Legion, they had joined earlier that month, Astorga would be the first action for the Second Battalion of the Legion. Junot placed Bertrand Clausels division in the position Loison had held, with Solignac in support, junots troops came to assist Loison, but brought no siege guns with them, It took Junot weeks to gather enough artillery to assault the town. In the mean time, the French forces dug trenches to besiege the town, the English and Spanish troops under Wellington had the same troubles when they recaptured the city in 1812. The garrison in Astorga had no guns, for several weeks there was a standoff. During these weeks, Santocildes emptied the town of 3,000 of its residents and stocked up on supplies for the siege, the Spanish could expect no hope from Wellingtons forces, which remained in Portugal. Until the siege guns arrived, there was no action except nuisance fire from what little artillery Junot had, junots 18 siege guns arrived on April 15 from Valladolid, and by the 20th, the wall of the city was breached.
The French stormed the city the next evening, their first attack was repulsed at the cost of 300 men and those of the storming company who were not killed holed up just inside the wall and held the position for the night. The next morning, Santocildes surrendered as the French were preparing for another attack, Santocildes was almost out of ammunition when he surrendered, he had fewer than 30 rounds of ammunition left per man, and only 8 rounds of artillery. He gave the French 2,500 prisoners and the city and his garrison lost only 51 dead and 109 wounded. Most of the French casualties came in the assault on the breach
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910, after 1248, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. The name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realms extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire, from 1580 to 1640, the kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain. After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the passed to the House of Braganza and after to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg.
From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major due to its most valuable colony. Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal, the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages, The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally, the second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso Is descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. Even after the change in houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another.
With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians, however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. When returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I, with the death of the king and his heir, Carlos Is second son would become king as King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuels reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in England, on 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto. The monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since, after centuries of Portuguese dominion in Angola, the Kingdom of Kongo was made a vassal state of the Portuguese kingdom, its king pledging allegiance to the King of Portugal
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
Siege of Almeida (1810)
In the Siege of Almeida, the French corps of Marshal Michel Ney captured the border fortress from Brigadier General William Coxs Portuguese garrison. This action was fought in the summer of 1810 during the Peninsular War portion of the Napoleonic Wars, Almeida is located in eastern Portugal, near the border with Spain. Lying on an invasion route from Ciudad Rodrigo to Lisbon. The previous day the French forces had pushed back the British Portuguese army at the Battle of the Côa, the 50, 000-man British-Portuguese army of General Lord Wellington now held the far bank of the Coa. However, the banks were steep, with only two bridges, and the French 6th Corps guarded the crossings, so the British were unable to retake the crossings to relieve Almeida. Fresh from the successful Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the French army laid siege to Almeida on July 25,1810, brigadier-General William Cox commanded a 4, 000-man Portuguese garrison of three battalions of militia, from Arganil and Vizeu. Some regular British forces were present, including 1,200 men of the 24th Line Regiment.
The defences of Almeida were in repair and stronger than Ciudad Rodrigo which the French had recently taken. In particular, there were over 100 artillery pieces, of which 40 were 18-pounders or heavier, and most were in protected casemates. The siege was conducted by the 14,000 infantry,1,000 cavalry,1,000 artillerists and 100 cannon of the VI Corps under the command of Marshal Michel Ney, in addition, General Jean-Andoche Junot lay in reserve nearby with his VIII Corps. The French received siege supplies from Ciudad Rodrigo on August 15, the siege train was well supplied with guns, as well as the existing French ones, it included captured Spanish guns from Ciudad Rodrigo. By August 24, the French lines had eleven batteries in place, the Portuguese defenders had fired upon the French, with little effect. When the French bombardment opened on August 26 at 6 AM, several quarters of the town were set on fire. The governor was confident in withstanding the assault, until a shell made a freak hit.
The great magazine in the castle had been used through the day to supply the defenders, at around 7 PM, one French shell landed in the courtyard, igniting a gunpowder trail that led through the still open door, and set off a chain reaction into the magazine. The ensuing explosion killed 600 defenders and wounded 300 more, the castle that housed the gunpowder was razed and sections of the defenses were damaged, leaving a crater still visible today. Unable to reply to the French cannonade without gunpowder, Cox was forced to capitulate the following day with the survivors of the blast and 100 cannon, the French lost 58 killed and 320 wounded during the operation. The next action was the Battle of Bussaco, list of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions Glover, The Peninsular War 1807-1814
Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres, the fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal, it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra, the Centro region and the Baixo Mondego subregion. About 460,000 people live in the Região de Coimbra, comprising 19 municipalities, among the many archaeological structures dating back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, are its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra was the capital of Portugal still remain, during the Late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre. This was in part helped by the establishment the University of Coimbra in 1290. Apart from attracting many European and international students, the university is visited by tourists for its monuments. The city, located on a hill by the Mondego River, was called Aeminium in Roman times and it fell under the influence, administratively, of the larger Roman villa of Conímbriga, until the latter was sacked by the Sueves and Visigoths between 569 and 589 and abandoned.
It became the seat of a diocesis, replacing Conímbriga, the limestone table on which the settlement grew has a dominant position overlooking the Mondego, circled by fertile lands irrigated by its waters. Vestiges of this history include the cryptoporticus of the former Roman forum. The move of the settlement and bishopric of Conimbriga to Aeminium resulted in the change to Conimbriga. The first Muslim campaigns that occupied the Iberian peninsula occurred between 711 and 715, with Coimbra capitulating to Musa bin Nusair in 714, remnants of this period include the beginnings of the Almedina and the fortified palace used by the citys governor. The Christian Reconquista forced Muslim forces to abandon the region temporarily, successively the Moors retook the castle in 987–1064 and again in 1116, capturing two castles constructed to protect the territory, in Miranda da Beira and in Santa Eulália. Henry expanded the frontiers of the County, confronting the Moorish forces, in order to confirm and reinforce the power of the concelho he conceded a formal foral in 1179.
The city was encircled by a wall, of which some remnants are still visible like the Almedina Gate. Meanwhile, on the periphery, the municipality began to grow in various agglomerations, notably around the monasteries and convents that developed in Celas, Santa Clara, Santo António dos Olivais. It stood too close to the river, and frequent floods forced the nuns to abandon it in the 17th century, the Queens magnificent Gothic tomb was transferred to the new convent. The ruins of the old convent were excavated in the 2000s, in the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Age of Discovery, Coimbra was again one of the main artistic centres of Portugal thanks to both local and royal patronage. The University of Coimbra, was founded as a Studium Generale in Lisbon in 1290 by King Dinis I, the University was relocated to Coimbra in 1308, but in 1338 the King D. Afonso IV make the University return to Lisbon