quarta-feira, 19 de maio de 2010

Lisbon pre 1755 Earthquake

Um excelente projecto com a participação do CHAIA (Centro de História de Arte e Investigação Artística), da Universidade de Évora...

City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon

"On the eve of the great earthquake of 1st November 1755, Lisbon was one of the most populated cities in Europe, a major sea port, international trading station and the political heart of an empire that extended from India to Brazil. From the 16th century, the Portuguese capital became a cosmopolitan city on which various foreign merchants and seafarers converged to visit or reside.

Portrayed by some travelers and foreign residents as a mixture of abject misery, extreme religious devotion and baroque opulence and extravagance, the old Lisbon became a mythical city for 18th century Europeans while for the Portuguese it has remained so until today. History has argued that the modernization of the medieval city took place as a result of the initiative of the Crown and the City Council with the providential help of Brazil’s gold and diamonds. After the earthquake, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (b. 1699 – d.1782), the minister to King D. José (1750 – 1777, b. 1714) and future Marquis of Pombal, obtained the vital assistance of Portuguese military engineers to build a city with a regular layout arranged in uniform blocks. The old city with its particular morphological and social characteristics disappeared.

The destruction of Lisbon made the headlines in the European press at the time, not only because of its financial repercussions but above all due to the scale of the catastrophe. This occurrence inspired various texts of different kinds across Europe, notably Voltaire’s Candide ou l’Optimisme (1759), and had a significant impact on European 18th century thought."

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