Statue of Magalhães
The statue of Magalhães in Lisbon recalls the presence of the great navigator in this city.
Ferdinand Magellan in a Portrait (c. 1552)The Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
1505 - 1517: Life in Lisbon
Magalhães lived an important part of his life in Lisbon, at least from 1505 to 1517, except when he went to the Orient and Morocco. If you want to know more about his travels before the circumnavigation, explore this exhibition.
Figure of Lisbon (1571) by Francisco de HolandaOriginal Source: Wikimedia
Lisbon, queen of the seas
At his time, Lisbon was the queen of the seas and the mother of the Portuguese maritime expansion, so it had an enormous role in history.
Medieval Lisbon (1520) by António de HolandaThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Lisbon's strategic position
Lisbon has an important location facing the Tagus River. This location ensured a strategic position through the connection to the Atlantic Ocean thus allowing the establishment of important economic, political, military and religious relations with all continents.
This illumination, made between 1530 and 1534 by António de Holanda for the so-called "Genealogy of the kings of Portugal", which can be found in the British Library in London, shows this reality. In the background, you can also see the towns of Cascais and Sintra.
Lisbon and Cascais (1572) by Georg BraunThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Lisbon, center of the world
Lisbon in the sixteenth century was a centre of the world because anyone wanting to go from Europe to Brazil on the one hand or to China and the Moluccas on the other, passing through many parts of Africa and Asia, could only do so from the Portuguese capital.
Population in Lisbon
Lisbon in Magalhães' time had close to 60,000 people.
Tavoa Primeira dos Reys - Count Dom Anrique's trunk (c. 1530) by António de HolandaThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
In 1500, King D. Manuel ordered the construction of the Paço da Ribeira in Lisbon, facing the then created Terreiro do Paço and the Ribeira das Naus, where the most important ships for trade with the Orient were built.
Book of Hours of Dom Manuel (c. 1524) by António de HolandaOriginal Source: Wikimedia
This palace, where the King concentrated his political and economic power, is highlighted in this illumination attributed to António de Holanda, found in the so-called "Manuel's Book of Hours".
It may have been there that Magalhães met with D. Manuel between 1515 and 1517.
View of Lisbon from Leiden (1550-1570) by UnidentifiedThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Lisbon in the 16th century
The most detailed 16th century view we have of Lisbon between Terreiro do Paço and the Santa Apolónia area, is found in an anonymous drawing dated between 1550 and 1570.
This drawing is kept in the University Library of Leiden and we can see in it the main buildings of the city identified with their respective names.
View of Terreiro do Paço, "Ulisipone Pars (1575) by Simão de MirandaOriginal Source: A Casa Senhorial
Lisbon in the 16th century
This drawing, made in 1575 by Simão de Miranda, shows a view of Lisbon, with an accurate portrait of the city taken from the river, in front of the Paço da Ribeira. It can be found in the Archivo di Stato in Turin.
Lisbon's Holy Martyrs (c. 1530)Original Source: Wikimedia
This work portrays the landing in Lisbon of Veríssimo, Júlia and Máxima, the Holy Martyrs, with the Casa da Índia and the Paço da Ribeira as a background.
New Merchants Street in Lisbon (c. 1583)Original Source: Wikimedia
Nova dos Mercadores Street
The best image we have of the famous street Nova dos Mercadores in Lisbon, is found in this Flemish painting, based on drawings by the Dutchman Jan Huygen van Linschoten between 1580 and 1583.
The work is in the Kelmscott Manor Collection, Society of Antiquaries of London and shows the intense animation of the city's main street, which had just been paved in 1515.
This street was built in the reign of D. Dinis, measured about 286 meters long by about 8.8 meters wide at his widest part, and it was here that the trade of products from all parts of the world was centered.
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon
The Praça do Comércio replaced the Terreiro do Paço created in Magalhães' time after the 1755 earthquake.
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon
It was to be the new headquarters of his new worldwide domain, that King D. Manuel decided to build his new palace in the then created Terreiro do Paço, which was located on the right bank of the river Tejo so as to be in easy connection with the sea.
Chafariz del Rei in Lisbon (1580-1583)The Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
The King's Fountain
In Lisbon, the busiest areas were, besides Terreiro do Paço, now Praça do Comércio, the rich Rua Nova dos Mercadores and the King’s Fountain.
Engraving of the city of Lisbon (1598) by Georg BraunOriginal Source: Wikimedia
Lisbon, symbol of Maritime Expansion
From Magalhães' time, remain as symbols of Portuguese maritime expansion some magnificent monuments in which stand out the Jerónimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém which were commissioned by King Manuel thanks to the wealth that was coming from the Orient.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Torre de Belém (c. 1657) by Filipe LoboThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
The oldest known isolated representation of the Jerónimos Monastery is found in this painting signed by Filipe Lobo and dated 1657, which is at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon.
In this painting, we can see this monument, located opposite Restelo beach, and without the changes that were added to it later, in the 19th century.
South Portal (16th century) by João de Castilho and Diogo de BoitacaJerónimos Monastery
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Belém, whose construction began in 1502 and is known as the Jerónimos Monastery, is a splendid work in the so-called Manueline style.
The Manueline style is somewhere between the late Gothic and the Renaissance and is the result of D. Manuel's devotion and desire for grandeur, having become a symbol of the Portuguese maritime expansion period.
The monarch was aware that it was the age of maritime expansion that allowed the construction of this work, begun in 1502, and which achieved great magnificence due to the results of the exploration of the sea route to India.
Northern and eastern wall of the Belém Tower (16th century) by Francisco ArrudaTower of Belém
Tower of Belém
The Tower of Belém is a magnificent and original construction that D. Manuel had built on the banks of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520, under the direction of Francisco de Arruda.
This work was considered a fearful defense of Lisbon, through the original combination of a beautiful but traditional medieval tower, with a modern Renaissance bastion where D. Manuel wanted to show off all his power to those entering Lisbon from the Tagus River.
It was probably the last construction that Magalhães saw in Lisbon before he left the city in October 1517.
Coat of Arms of Lisbon of the Crimson Book (1502)The Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Nau, symbol of Lisbon
This is one of the best representations of the great Portuguese ships from the time of Magalhães, in which he sailed to all the Orient at the service of the Portuguese Crown.
This representation appears in an illumination of the book of the regiment of Lisbon dated 1502, known as the "Crimson Book" and that is at the Municipal Archive of Lisbon.
The nau was the symbol of Lisbon, as it represented the vessel that transported the body of São Vicente from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century. Since then, Saint Vincent became the patron saint of the city of Lisbon.
The Earth with the Arms of Portugal (c. 1520) by Duarte GalvãoThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Lisbon, the vision of the Earth
It was from Lisbon that it was possible to begin to have the vision of the Earth that we have today.
In partnership with the Estrutura de Missão, Professor José Manuel Garcia, curator of this exhibition, is finishing a book that will tell us about the role that the Portuguese capital played in history and in what circumstances the main Portuguese voyages took place.
Find out more about Lisbon's role in maritime expansion in this excerpt from an interview with Professor José Manuel Garcia.
Talks: Lisbon by Mission Structure of the V the 5th Centennial of the First Voyage of Circum-NavigationThe Portuguese Task Force for the Commemorations of the V Centenary of Circumnavigation
Curatorship and scientific supervision of: José Manuel GarciaTechnical support: Mito+Rito