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VISIT Universidade de Coimbra


The Armory was part of the
Royal Wing of the Old Palace

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On the walls we see a frieze of figured tiles, dated 1773, with scenes
inspired in Dutch prints, painted in Lisbon in the Rato Factory

The roof structure, dating from the 19th century, has at the center, the Royal Arms of Portugal.

The set of arms (halberds) of the Academic Royal Guard displayed are still used by the Archers (guards) in the formal academic ceremonies (solemn doctotare sessions, "honoris causa", investiture of the Rector, the solemn opening of the school year).

The Yellow Room, next to the Armory, has walls lined with yellow silk alluding to the Faculty of Medicine. It was, indeed, in this room that the "congregation of the Faculty of Medicine" met (meeting of the constituent bodies of the Faculty). The paintings on the walls are of 19th century Rectors of the University.

The Blue Room is the last room of this former Royal Wing that can be visited. The color evokes the Faculty of Science and Technology and, as the previous one, it also displays paintings of former Rectors.

On the back wall on the left side, one can see the portrait of Rector Viscount Seabra which, in addition to teaching at the Faculty of Law, was also the first author of the Portuguese Civil Code.

These rooms are still used at the end of academic ceremonies as access rooms to the Senate Room, the room where, after the PhD, all teachers and invited authorities  present their compliments to the Rector and to the new Doctor.

Body of Guards that, traditionally, guaranteed the safety of the Rector, the rectorship building, the university buildings and remaining buildings that integrated the urban area of the University jurisdiction. Initially known as Verdeais the name was later changed to Archers. They obeyed the Bailiff’s voice and later the Chief-guard.

Over the centuries the archers wore a uniform similar to the ones used in the European courts. After 1836 the Verdeais or Alabadeiros came to be known as Archers, though the bow was not part of their equipment.

The daily uniform was military type and very simple. The Archers continue to wear the uniform that was selected at the beginning of the 20th century. It consists of a gray coat with a  green streak, gray trousers, peaked cap and sword.

Along the Iron Gate, the Archers welcome every day thousands of tourists who visit the Palace School.

The simplicity of their appearance does not escape the eyes of the tourists who frequently compare them to the Beefeaters of the Tower of London. However, on cerimony days, the archers wear the great Napoleonic uniform, complemented with sword and halberd. The halberds are used upright, except during the funeral processions when they are used downwards. The uniform is complemented by a black felt Napoleon hat.

However, since 1916 the hat has not been present in the cerimony uniform of the Academic Royal Guard.


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A Universidade de Coimbra Tangivel e Intangivel.
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Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.

Pimentel, A. F., & Agostinho, R. (2006).
A Universidade de Coimbra: Uma visita a partir Páteo.

Torgal, L. R. (2003).
A Universidade de Coimbra.
Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.