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The Monumental Stairs

Monumental Stairs (Escadas Monumentais) is one of the most important monuments of Coimbra and one of the spots where students love to integrate the freshmen by doing the praxe (the initiation rituals freshmen are subjected to).

Built during the twentieth century, in the 1950s, the staircase connects the Praça D. Dinis to the Praça da República and Parque da Sereia essential points in the city’s history.

The ladder has five throws with 25 steps each – in other words, it’s a total of 125 degrees – and several legends behind its construction. One of them says that the stairs have five throws to correspond to the number of years that the ancient courses had. It is said that the number of times a student stumbled on the stairs is equivalent to the number of classes he will fail each year.

Could it be true? Well, the only certain truth is that students keep using the Monumental Stairs as one of the stages of Coimbra’s praxe, forcing the freshmen to climb and descend the staircase again and again while counting the steps. Only they can tell if the legends are true.

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Hotel Oslo - Coimbra
Av. Fernão de Magalhães, 25
3000-175 Coimbra, Portugal
Tel. +351 239 829 071
(national landline call)
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