Lisboa Story Centre

Lisboa Story Centre showing interior views
Get an introduction to the city of Lisbon and its history through visual displays and audio description providing an interactive look into its past.

Two stylized ravens welcome visitors outside the door of the Lisboa Story Centre. The ravens are the city’s mascots that legend says accompanied the remains of patron St. Vincent on a sea voyage back to Lisbon. Enter the interpretive historical showcase and pick up a multilingual audio guide to learn the progression of events for Europe’s westernmost city.

Begin with early settlers conducting business on a horse-filled Lisbon street and advance to the Age of Discovery when the city was a central point for seafaring missions in discovering parts of the world and new trade routes. Portugal was in a race to colonize areas before England and France laid claim to them.

The spice trade was a significant source of the city’s income that provided for the construction of important buildings. View images of the sprawling Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) for an example of a structure that was partially funded from the riches of this lucrative commercial period.

At the height of this era that was full of conquests, a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami and fires almost destroyed the city, killing tens of thousands of its inhabitants. Experience the horror on that fateful November day in 1755 in the center’s small theater where a dramatic film shows a simulation of buildings toppling and the sea swallowing up anything in its path. Anything left standing was quickly engulfed in flames as aftershocks toppled lit candles.

Discover the rapid rebuilding of the city under the direction of the Marquis of Pombal to make its structures more resistant to earthquakes. Browse in the souvenir shop for mementos of your recent voyage through multiple centuries of Lisbon’s past.

The Lisboa Story Centre is open every day with an admission fee. Find it on the Terreiro do Paço square, near the river in the Baixa district.

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