quarta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2011
1755 Lisbon's earthquake
256 years ago Lisbon's earthquake was felt through all Europe and north Africa.
Being All Saints Day people gathered massively on churches when, at around 9.30 a.m the earth trembled in such violence that it took minutes to ruin what once was considered to be the greatest capital in the Renascence period!
In terror and thinking on sailing away through Tagus river they were struck by an tsunami which destroyed not only the Royal Ribeira Palace but the newly built Opera House and several other palaces, churches and monasteries. All the riches gathered throught times, precious libraries, all gone ...
With the Royal Family absent, people took faith upon a newly appointed minister whose name was Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo.
Born in Lisbon, from a lower nobility class, studied in Coimbra, got married in Lisbon and in 1738 onwards he became ambassador in the UK and later on Vienna were he not only got married a second time with a very prominent member of an aristocratic family - the Von Daun - but also gathered efforts to study.
Not very well succeeded at the eyes of the reigning monarch, D.João V, Sebastião José came back after the later's death due to the new monarch's sympathies and also his mother, an Austrian Archduchess who was very fond of his wife, Ernstina Von Daun.
Scorned by the Portuguese high nobility, this "squire" would raise into such a degree of power that through despotic methods, the later known as Count of Oeiras (title given in 1759) and Marquess of Pombal (title given in 1769) become not only the major figure of King Joseph I's reign but a key figure for the development of Portugal.
My figure was inspired by the Marquess's portrait by Van Loo.
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