Biblioteca Joaninha

Imagine standing before a library that has been in use for half a millennium.


This library in Coimbra, Portugal is the oldest library in Portugal, and (according to the Portuguese) the oldest library that has been in constant use in the world!

How does a library get to be over 500 years old and never be forgotten? By being part of the oldest university in Portugal!

In 1290, this university started in Lisbon. In 1536, the university moved to Coimbra and the library was built. The university has had a class every semester of every year for the past 729 years!

This is just mind blowing to me being from the United States, where our continent was discovered by Europeans only 527 years ago, and the United States came to exist only 243 years ago. Our ancient history is their recent past. I guess it’s all relative!