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City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon
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City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon



Workshop done for VAST2008/Eurographics in Braga, Dec 2 2008, covering Beta Technologies\' work in recreating Lisbon\'s Terreiro do Paço before the earthquake of 1755.

Workshop done for VAST2008/Eurographics in Braga, Dec 2 2008, covering Beta Technologies\' work in recreating Lisbon\'s Terreiro do Paço before the earthquake of 1755.



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City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon Presentation Transcript

  • City and Spectacle: a vision of pre- earthquake Lisbon VAST 2008 — Braga, Dec. 2008 Workshop: Serious Games in Cultural Heritage
  • Fig.1. Lisbon before and during the 1755 earthquake (18th century). Engraving. Museu da Cidade (City Museum), Lisbon.
  • The 1755 earthquake “On Saturday the 1st instant, about half an hour past 9 o’ clock, I was retired to my room after breakfast, when I perceived the house begin to shake … as I saw the neighbours about me all running down stairs, I also made the best of my way… It was darker than the darkest night I ever saw … occasioned by the clouds of dust from the falling of houses on all sides. After it cleared up, I ran into a large square adjoining [the Terreiro do Paço], the palace to the west, the street I lived in to the north, the river to the south, and the custom house and warehouses to the east … but being alarmed with a cry that the sea was coming in, all people crowded forward to run to the hills, I among the rest, with Mr. Wood and family. We went near two miles through the streets, climbing over ruins of churches, houses, &c., stepping over hundreds of dead and dying people, killed by the falling of buildings; carriages, chaises and mules, lying all crushed to pieces …” (Letter of a British Merchant to his Brother - The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 25, December 1755).
  • A major earthquake shook Lisbon in the morning of the 1st November 1755. Three different shocks reduced most of the city to ruins. A great number of people were gathered in Lisbon’s numerous churches celebrating All Saints’ Day. The vast number of candles burning at the time in churches and house chapels were the main cause of the raging fire that followed the earthquake.
  • Fig. 2. Rescue of a little girl from Lisbon’s ruins (18th century). Ex- voto to N.S. da Estrela (Our Lady of Estrela). Museu da Cidade, Lisbon.
  • Lisbon burnt for a whole week. In Lisbon alone approximately 30,000 people died. Roughly 10% of the buildings were ruined and two thirds suffered such destruction that they were unsafe for habitation. An important number of the city historical records, libraries, art and science collections disappeared under the wreckage and were burnt by the fire. The earthquake was also felt in other areas of Portugal and Spain, especially in the south, and in the north of Africa.
  • Fig. 3. Arrival of King Philip II of Portugal at Terreiro do Paço (in Jun. 29, 1619) — engraving by Hans Shorken in Viage de la Catholica, Madrid, 1622
  • Downtown Lisbon, the large valley extending between the two main city squares, Terreiro do Paço (Palace Courtyard) and Rossio, suffered the most. S. Paulo, the area to the west alongside the river Tejo (Tagus) was also severely damaged.
  • Fig. 4. The ruins of the Royal Palace in Terreiro do Paço (18th century). Museu da Cidade, Lisbon.
  • The Terreiro do Paço (Palace Courtyard) was completely destroyed vanishing in the flames of the Royal Palace and all of the other important adjacent buildings: the New Cathedral (Patriarcal), the Opera House, the Custom House, the City Hall and the Tribunal. The Quay (Cais das Pedras) near the Royal Palace was engulfed by the tidal waves, killing approximately a hundred people who were seeking refuge from the fire.
  • Fig. 5. The Ruins of the New Patriarchal (18th century). A Dutch version of the illustrations by Paris and Pedegache, engraved by Jacques Philippe Le Bas.
  • The destruction of the Portuguese capital city made the European press headlines at the time, not only for its financial repercussions, but also for the magnitude of the catastrophe.  This occurrence inspired several texts throughout Europe, namely Voltaire’s Candide, ou l’Optimisme (1759), having a significant impact on European thought.
  • Fig. 6. Lisbon in the early 18th century. English Engraving.
  • The lost city “It is almost impossible to conceive any thing more magnificent than the appearance this stately city made at a distance; owing, as we have said before, as well to its situation on the declivity of several hills, as to the many grand edifices with which it abounded. The interior part, however, did by no means correspond with its external magnificence. The houses of Lisbon were mostly four, few of them five stories high, and built of stone. The narrowness, declivity, and irregularity of some of its streets, and the dirtiness of others, made it a very disagreeable place of abode to strangers”. (A Scottish account of Lisbon in 1745; published in the Scots Magazine, November 1755).
  • Lisbon developed as an amphitheatre erected along the river Tagus (Tejo), establishing itself on several hills. From the Castle hill, the city expanded to the east, but principally to the west. During the second half of the fifteenth century, when the expeditions overseas began to be the main enterprise of the Portuguese Crown, this union between the river/sea and the city was reinforced.
  • Fig. 7. Lisbon in the second half of the 16th century. From the engraving by Georgius Braunius “Civitates Orbis Terrarum” (1572). Museu da Cidade, Lisbon.
  • After the success of the sea expedition to India in 1498, the Portuguese king, D.Manuel I (1495 – 1521, born 1469) decided to build a new palace near the river. The vast field just opposite the royal palace was also rearranged in order to receive a number of public buildings: the Shambles; the Crops warehouse; a number of shops and the Customs House. From this period up to 1755, Lisbon’s city centre developed between two main squares, the Terreiro do Paço and the Rossio, to the North.
  • Lisbon became a major attraction to the countryside population as well as to foreign merchants. From the 16th century, several foreign tradesmen established themselves in the city, the British forming the most numerous colony. Lisbon expanded very quickly. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Portuguese capital city was in the group of the most populated European cities, with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Fig. 8. Lisbon in the early 18th century. The Royal Palace, the Ribeira das Naus (Shipyard) and the Corte Real Palace. Engraving by George Balthazar Probst. Museu da Cidade, Lisbon.
  • At the eve of the great earthquake of the 1st November 1755, Lisbon was thus a cosmopolitan city, a major European commercial centre and the political heart of an empire extending from India to Brazil. Pictured by 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 and for the Portuguese up until today.
  • Fig. 9. Lisbon just before the 1755 earthquake (c. 1750). Engraving. Museu da Cidade, Lisbon.
  • History has argued that the old medieval city was being modernized by the Crown (King D. João V – ruled between 1707-1750; b. in 1689) and the City Council within an ancient-regime context, with the providential help of Brazil’s gold and diamonds. Quays were built, streets opened and enlarged, an aqueduct was built bringing water to the city, and a number of royal palaces and churches were erected according to the roman baroque taste. The royal palace suffered important refurbishment works and in April 1755, King D. José (1750 – 1777, b. 1714), gave an Opera House to the city.
  • Fig. 10. Plan for the rebuilding of Lisbon (1756). Architect: Eugénio dos Santos e Carvalho. Plan amended by Eugénio dos Santos and Carlos Mardel (later version). Instituto Geográfico Português, Lisbon.
  • After the earthquake, the minister of King D. José, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (1699-1782), future Marquis of Pombal, built an enlightened regular city with the fundamental assistance of the Portuguese military engineers. The old city centre with its particular physical and social character disappeared.
  • The project
  • ‣ This project aimsthe recreate virtually the Lisbon ruined by to 1755 earthquake, using as tools a thorough historical approach and Second Life® technology. ‣ Both the architectural scenario and the sounds of the urban daily life will be recreated. Some of the opera music performed in the old Opera House will be also included. ‣ Short texts will provide the required historical context.
  • ‣ This is an interactive project, which will offer to the public virtual guided tours. ‣ It will be available online until its completion, as a work in progress platform, welcoming contributions from other national and foreign researchers. ‣ Conceptually, this is a project that combines interpretation, in its historical sense, with quot;state of the artquot; technology in order to allow a visualization of a memory. Materially, it can represent a significant educational and recreational instrument. 
  • “Virtual archeology” ‣ “[...] the use of 3D computer models of ancient buildings and artefacts” (Towards a virtual archaeology, Paul Reilly, 1990) ‣ “Especially interesting are the design of interactive systems, where users can become immersed into a virtual world.” (The Diversity of Archaeological Virtual Worlds, Barceló, Forte & Sanders, 2000) ‣ Second Life is being currently used for several large- scale virtual archeology projects due to its widespread use and employment by universities and the relative low cost of modelling and 3D content hosting (ex. Theatron 3 Project by KVL)
  • Second Life® - Technology ‣ 3D virtual world available to the public; currently with 16 million registered users ‣ Tens of thousands users can be online simultaneously (each with their own avatar) ‣ Free access (though 3D content hosting has a cost) ‣ Persistent content (client-server architecture) ‣ Collaborative environment ‣ Free open source 3D viewer includes modelling tools (textures have to be uploaded)
  • Modelling in Second Life ‣ No external 3D models and (except for is textures) — tools required programming done using the free Second Life viewer ‣ Interactiveandchanges happen immediately, in real time, — all users see them at the same time ‣ Collaborative — several users can build models together simultaneously
  • Building tool showing texture selection
  • Users build together interacting with avatars
  • Building tool showing grid alignments, naming
  • Individual items can be linked (grouped) together
  • Building tool showing precise measurements
  • Colour and face properties are being set
  • Texture upload and selection
  • Phases Given the project’s dimension, it will be carried out in several phases. The first one, presented today, will be recreation of the old Royal Palace, according to an anonymous account published by Camilo Castello Branco, Noites de Insomnina offerecidas a quem não pode dormir. N. 8. Porto-Braga, 1874, pp. 28-34. Iconographic sources were used as essential visual information.
  • The Royal Palace A brief chronology: ‣ Built at the beginning of the 16th century, by King D. Manuel I (b. 1469 - d. 1521) ‣ Suffered major works at the beginning of the 17th century, after the union between the Crowns of Spain and Portugal (1580). King Philip II of Spain (I of Portugal), b. 1527 – d. 1598, replaced the old fortification, by an imposing tower (1584), and refurbished the Queen’s apartments and the Royal Chapel
  • ‣ The ItalianTower (known as Terzi Tower, –from the Royal architect Filippo Terzi, 1520 1597; although its plan was probably the work of the Spanish architect Juan Herrera, 1530 – 1597) represented, thereafter, a symbol of the royal palace in Terreiro do Paço. From the old palace, survived the north end of the ensemble. ‣ Some refurbishment works by King D. João IV (b. 1604 — d. 1656);
  • The Joanine project (King D. João V – b. 1707 – d. 1750) ‣ Refurbishment ofapartments and the and the Prince’s the Queen’s apartments building of the New Clock Tower, by the Italian architect Antonio Canevari (1681-1751). Works between 1707 and 1728.
  • ‣ Works in the Royal Chapel ‣ Refurbishment of the Princesses’ apartments (the King’s grand-daughters), completed in 1749, probably by Johann Friedrich Ludwig (1670 - 1752) ‣ The New Patriarchal (began in 1740), by Johann Friedrich Ludwig
  • The Royal Palace in Terreiro do Paço - Aerial view
  • Terreiro do Paço: The Royal Palace with the Terzi Tower (eastern façade). View of the Clock Tower.
  • View of the ensemble from the west
  • Inside the Royal Palace Garden: The Clock Tower
  • Royal Palace interior yards
  • The Patriarcal Square seen from the north
  • The Patriarcal Square looking towards the Opera House
  • Capela Street (West End)
  • Capela Street (West End)
  • Capela Street (West End), view of the Opera House’s north façade
  • View of the Capela Street towards the entrance in Terreiro do Paço
  • The Capela Street near the entrance
  • The Capela Street (East End)
  • The Capela Street (East End)
  • Terreiro do Paço (Palace Courtyard)
  • The Royal Palace view from north and detail of the wall facing the Tejo
  • Terreiro do Paço: the Manueline Palace
  • Terreiro do Paço: detail of the north buildings
  • The Royal Palace: Inward Manueline Courtyard
  • The Royal Palace: Inward Manueline Courtyard
  • The Royal Palace: Inward Manueline Courtyard
  • The Opera House ‣ Located near Lisbon's main square, the Terreiro do Paço (Palace Courtyard), the Opera House, designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Carlo Bibiena (1717-1760), opened to the public in April 1755 only to be destroyed by the earthquake 7 months later ‣ For its architectural character and short lived existence, somehow epitomises the baroque transformation of Lisbon's city centre
  • ‣ Unfortunately, there are few sources of information for the study of this building. Only part of the plans and one of the elevations survived. ‣ Therefore, it was used as working material Bibiena’s plans for other European opera houses. ‣ The stage designs are the actual ones made by Bibiena for the Lisbon Opera House.
  • Fig. 11. The Ruins of Opera House (18th century). An English version of the illustrations by Paris and Pedegache, engraved by Jacques Philippe Le Bas.
  • Opera House Foyer The foyer had impressive elements, with two entries, one towards the river (facing the south), and one to the north, where today runs the Arsenal Street.
  • Foyer
  • Foyer
  • Foyer with stairway to the main room
  • Opera House Main Room The main room was not very large, although it was quite high. Descriptions at the time tell us that the decoration — marbles, giltwork, and exotic woods — were so luxurious that the audience, during the performance, was often distracted by them.
  • Main room — view of the stage
  • Main room — view of the boxes
  • View of the ceiling
  • View from above
  • Opera House Stage ‣ The stage, of huge proportions, was larger than the main room, allowing exuberant productions that even included cavalry companies ‣ We present the scenario designed by G. Bibiena for the première of the opera Allessandro nell’India by David Perez
  • View of the stage
  • Detail of the stage
  • Opera House Exteriors Our proposal is an adaptation (since the buildings are so different) of the designs by Bibiena for the theatres of Nancy and Vienna, namely with regard to the north and main entrances.
  • The Royal Opera House
  • The Royal Opera House
  • The Royal Palace Garden, seen from the Opera House
  • The Royal Palace Garden and the Clock Tower
  • The Royal Palace Gardens. The Opera House at the left-hand side.
  • The Royal Palace Gardens. A view of the Terzi Tower.
  • The Royal Palace in Terreiro do Paço
  • Terreiro do Paço by Dirk Stoop, c. 1662. Museu da Cidade,
  • Credits Scientific coordination Alexandra Gago da Câmara Helena Murteira Technical coordination and production Beta Technologies Consultant (audio sources) Octávio dos Santos Music Música para D. João VI e D. Carlota Mário Marques Trilha & Isabel Alcobia Numérica Produções
  • Acknowledgments Sponsor Centro de História de Arte e Investigação Artística (CHAIA) Universidade de Évora