The University of Coimbra has played a major role in the social, economic, and political life of Portugal for over 700 years. The University was officially founded on August 9, 1290 by the Bull of Papa Nicolau, IV. The University's home alternated between Coimbra and Lisbon until 1537 when King D. Joao III established it permanently in Coimbra. Although new complexes now house the Faculties of Economics, Engineering, and Medicine, the historic core of the University remains atop the city with several buildings that date to the 1700's and earlier. Today the University is a vibrant institution of 25,000 students.