World's Most Beautiful Universities
Coimbra University, Coimbra, Portugal
An iron-gated entryway opens up to cobblestoned courtyards at this hilltop university, where the architecture is reflective of Portugal’s long and artistically diverse history. The 1517 Capela de San Miguel, for example, incorporates thousands of traditionally hand-painted tiles; the Baroque Biblioteca Joanina, built in 1717, has bookcases made of Brazilian wood originally shipped overseas from Portugal’s new world settlements. German-turned-Portuguese architect João Frederico Ludovice built the university’s Baroque-style tower in 1728; though currently closed for repairs, its narrow, 115-foot spiral staircase leads to spectacular views over the surrounding city.