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Republics of Coimbra – Students Traditions

Republics, mythical spaces of Coimbra academic life

It was in the 14th century that the first Republics of Coimbra emerged, when King D. Dinis ordered the construction of houses, in the zone of “Almedina”, to lodge the students of the University, with rent payment. These mythical spaces of academic life are characterized by defending democracy, freedom and community life, rejecting the idea of ​​hierarchy associated with “praxe”. What differentiates the Student Republics from other student houses? Its’s not a space only of study. The Republics teach “how to live, to do and to say”, using bohemian life to discuss various topics. In the Republics, the new residents are called “plebeus”. When they are accepted, they become “repúblicos”. This is just one of the traditions that has passed through the years, but there are others like the anthem, the symbols and the call that transmits the identity of each republic. Of the 25 Republics that still exist and resist thougher times, we highlight: “Prá-Kys-Tão”, “Rapó-Taxo”, “Baco”, “Ay-ó-Linda”, “Galifões”, “Rás-te-parta”, “Bota-Abaixo”.

Script:
The “República dos Kágados”, the oldest Republic of Coimbra, is located at the Rua dos Correios (now Rua Joaquim António de Aguiar), in the “Sé Velha”. Going up to the “Sé Nova”, you will find the “Real República do Bota-Abaixo”, now on the street of São Salvador, which was frequented by Zeca Afonso (Portuguese singer and songwriter, troubadour of freedom) in the 60’s. Surprise yourself with its façade. In “Arcos do Jardim”, the “Real República Rápo-Taxo” is famous for its two entrances. Going down to the “Praça da República”, you will find the Real República da Praça famous for bohemian excesses. In past, the landlord even cut the water, an attitude that led the students to draw water from the fountains of the “Jardim da Sereia”. A story that only ended with the intervention of the Rectory of University.

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