The great earthquake of 1755 changed completely the mindset and the mentality of Europe. In the words of Russel Dynes, the ”first modern catastrophe” introduced important changes as far as the political structure in response of a catastrophe is concerned. The “modern” approach in the reconstruction of the city minimizes the risks of a new occurrence and constitutes an ideal base for the symbolic and real renaissance of the city. The destruction of the theodicy of Leibniz by Voltaire, the appearance of modern seismology, the realization that societies need not to feel watched or punished because the catastrophes are nothing more than natural phenomenons and the hands on approach “bury the dead and take care of the living” by the then leading authorities in Lisbon taught the World an invaluable lesson.
The tour will be done all inside of what was in 1755 the capital of one of the oldest countries in the world. We will discover the old city walls, the structure of Lisbon pre and post earthquake , the measures taken by the authorities to face the disaster and we will also analyze the “mindquake” that swept all over Europe following the aftermath of the Lisbon disaster. We will visit Chiado, Bairro Alto and Alfama districts as well as some viewpoints and Churches (depending on the length of the Tour). The tour can be tailor made with a duration of half a day or a whole day. Let us discover together how in the midst of such devastating catastrophe and out of the ensuing darkness men could lay the foundation of the rebirth of the good light (Lixbuna=Lisbon) and simultaneously plant a flag for the idea that though man can not control natural events they certainly can do their best to avoid the dying of the light, in other words to avoid that history repeats itself.