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The history of the University of Coimbra dates back to the century subsequent to the very foundation of the Portuguese nation, since the University was established in the 13th century, in 1290. Prior to this date, in 1288, a Supplication was made to Pope Nicholas IV (of which only the transcription is known) on 17 November 1288, which was signed by the abbots of the Monasteries of Alcobaça, Santa Cruz of Coimbra, and S. Vicente of Lisbon, and by the superiors of 24 churches and convents of the Kingdom. This document requested the foundation of a “General Study” and stated that its running would be the responsibility of those religious institutions. It is not known whether the Supplication reached the Holy See or not. Source: http://www.uc.pt/en/acerca/historia/historiauniversidade