Legendary spaces in the academic life, the Coimbra Republics first appeared during the 14th century when King D. Dinis ordered a few houses to be built in the Almedina area to house university students in exchange for a payment. Throughout the centuries, the republics became famous and created their own traditions. In 1957, the first praxe code gave them a legal status and regulated their functioning. During the 1960s, when all Europe was teeming with student riots and democratic reforms, the Republics in Coimbra played a very important role in national politics fighting for democracy and freedom. Nowadays, they still keep the values which define their exceptional character within the university circle: community life and the fight for democracy.
The Portuguese city where academic tradition is felt more fervently than anywhere else is the centre stage for many student celebrations, especially at the end of every school year with Queima das Fitas. Senior students offer their folders to their colleagues who will be finishing their degree in the next year and there are many celebrations like the Serenata Monumental (Monumental Serenade), Cortejo dos Grelados (Grelados Parade), Récita das Faculdades (Faculties Recital), Verbana, Garraida and Bênção das Pastas (Folder Blessing).