Video of the current stage of the project "City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon" made at the request of the Ancient Art National Museum (Portugal) in the framework of the exhibition "The Prodigious Order. From the Patriarchal to the Royal Chapel of St. John Baptist".
Project by CHAIA/University of Évora.
Scientific coordination: Alexandra Gago da Câmara, Helena Murteira and Paulo Simões Rodrigues. 3D modeling: Beta Technologies. Video production: Nuno Barrela. Music "Alessandro nell'Indie" by David Perez (1711-1778), recorded by Antena 2/RTP in 2005, which kindly allowed its use on the project.
"City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon" consists in a Second Life® recreation of the memory of Lisbon as it was before the earthquake of the 1 November 1755, giving shape to a laboratory model of research into the city’s history.
On the eve of the catastrophe, 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 which was highly diversified both demographically and socially.
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. Its destruction made the headlines in the European press, inspiring various texts of different kinds, notably Voltaire’s "Candide ou l’Optimisme" (1759), and had a significant impact on European 18th century thought.
After the earthquake, the minister to King D. José I, the 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.