From sacred city to secular town. The extinction of religious orders and the dynamics of urban transformation in the nineteenth century Lisbon
Instituição Financiadora: FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Data de início: maio de 2013
Data de conclusão: novembro de 2015
The purpose of this project is to study, in a systematic and integrated manner, the impact of the dissolution of the religious orders in the development, functions and image of the new liberal city, which defines itself as foremost secular and developmentalist. In Lisbon, the religious houses were, and still are, buildings of exceptional character, constituting themselves, since the middle ages (concurrent with the strengthening of the Nation), as fundamental bodies of the Church’s power, symbolic landmarks in the city and irradiating centres of urban transformation. Built until the 18th century, the convents imposed themselves due to their prime location, scale, architectonical and artistic relevance, by their specific spatiality, by the stories built throughout history. After the liberal revolution and the civil war, which ended in 1834, the ideological principles of the new regime, deeply influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution, were consolidated.The liberal state confronted the nobility rights of birth and the privileges of the clergy, the main principles of the Ancient Régime, by imposing social equality and by questioning the social utility of the contemplative religious orders.
The decree of May 30th 1834 – that dissolved the religious houses of all male regular orders and nationalized their assets – and the 4th of April, 1861 law – that dissolved the female convents – led to the alienation, in Lisbon, of nearly 130 monasteries, convents, colleges, hospitals and retirements, including their monastic and urban properties. These buildings where then given profane occupations, mainly public services (hospitals, schools, courts, factories) or were demolished and divided in plots, originating new urban realities. Raquel Henriques da Silva’s investigation, along with some other important approaches focused on specific cases, allow us to understand that the extinction of the convents was decisive in the urban development of Lisbon in the eighteen hundreds.
This is the conducting line of the investigation we are aiming to pursue, through interdisciplinary methodology, including urbanistic, historic and architectonic approaches, in order to systematize information and cross data from written sources and cartography, some of which unpublished, belonging to the collections of Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (T. Tombo) and Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa (AML).
In spite of being focused on 19th century urbanism, the project will also take under consideration the present reality, for 200 years after the extinction of the religious orders, a new cycle is beginning, with the sale, by the State, of a significant amount of real estate that was then nationalized. Namely, for example, the old convents of the Sant’Ana hill (Rilhafoles, Santo-Antão-o-Novo, Nossa Senhora do Desterro and Santo António dos Capuchos), the Santa Joana Convent or the Desagravo Convent. This new situation opened a debate in civil society and the academic community, on how to protect this important cultural heritage, whose fate seems uncertain. Knowing that there is not a global understanding on how these buildings marked, and still mark, the city’s image, it is indispensable to study, and disclose the present and past realities, as this will serve as a basis for future decisions, allowing us to protect the existent heritage values, articulating them with new social, cultural and touristic needs. Due to the dimension and complexity of the study’s universe, this goal is only possible to be achieved with a multidisciplinary team.<
The research in history, art history, urbanism, architecture, decorative arts, industrial heritage, and vertical archaeology – will be developed by the Instituto de História da Arte (IHA) and Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (CML). The archival preservation of written sources, namely the documental series of the convents extinction – will be developed by T. Tombo – and the information technologies will be developed by the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT).
The project will also have an important network of Portuguese advisors and the experience of one of the coordinators of the Spanish project URBES Las ciudades espanolas, 1780-1930.
We will also privilege the articulation with similar projects that are being developed elsewhere in the country (Porto) or that are already finished (Algarve) and with the HARPA project, of the Instituto de História da Arte da Faculdade de Letras of Universidade de Lisboa, which focuses specifically on the azulejo heritage of the old Sant’Ana hill’s convents.
A website – LX Conventos – will be created in order to make it possible to share information and to promote the project.
Descrição do Projecto:
Em Lisboa, as casas religiosas foram e ainda são edifícios de caráter excecional, que se constituíram como marcos simbólicos da cidade e se impuseram pela sua localização, pela sua escala e pela sua relevância arquitetónica e artística.
Em 1834, depois da Revolução Liberal e da Guerra Civil, o Estado confrontou os poderes que haviam sido o cimento do Antigo Regime, questionando a utilidade social de ordens religiosas. A legislação que determinou a extinção das casas religiosas masculinas e femininas conduziu à desafetação, em Lisboa, de cerca de 130 edifícios, que receberam ocupações profanas ou foram demolidos e loteados, dando origem a novas realidades urbanas.
A investigação de Raquel Henriques da Silva e algumas abordagens centradas em casos específicos permitiram compreender que a extinção dos conventos foi decisiva para o desenvolvimento urbano da Lisboa oitocentista. É esta linha de investigação que se pretende desenvolver, através de metodologias interdisciplinares que, abrangendo predominantemente as vertentes urbanística, histórica e arquitetónica, sistematizem informação e cruzem fontes documentais e cartográficas.
Para a divulgação do Projeto pretende-se criar uma plataforma em ambiente web – LX Conventos – que disponibilizará todos os conteúdos que vão ser desenvolvidos.
Estudar, de forma sistemática e integrada, o impacto da extinção das ordens religiosas no desenvolvimento, funções e imagem da nova cidade liberal.
Área Científica Principal
Estudos Artísticos – História de Arte
Financiamento € 187.286,00
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (FCSH/UNL)
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (CML)
Direcção-Geral de Arquivos (DGARQ)
Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FFCT/FCT/UNL)
Unidade de Investigação Principal
Instituto de História da Arte (IHA/FCSH/UNL)
Maria Raquel Henriques da Silva
Ana Mafalda Reis
Ana Rita de Almeida Fernandes Pignatelli Mégre
Anabela Martins Ferreira da Silva Valente Pires
António Henrique Rodrigues Miranda
Delminda Maria Miguéns Rijo
José Manuel da Costa Rodrigues Garcia
Maria de Fátima Dentinho Inglez do Ó Ramos
Paulo Oliveira Ramos
Ana Cristina Chalaça Gil
Cátia Teles e Marques
Liliana Isabel Amadeu Silva
Relatório de resultados | Results report
Avaliação final FCT | Final evaluation FCT
*** Recomendação do Coordenador ***
“A – Relatório Final APROVADO”
“Os objectivos científicos previstos foram plenamente atingidos. Os resultados evidenciam grande qualidade científica, nomeadamente ao nível das publicações em revistas internacionais com referee. O projecto contribuiu para a formação de jovens investigadores e para a projecção internacional da equipa envolvida.”
“This is an ambitious project of great relevance. The fact that it was successfully concluded permits new approaches and a more solid knowledge about the 116 religious houses in Lisbon that were suppressed after 1834. The new uses to which they were affected changed radically the capital, both physically and from a sociological point of view. The multidisciplinary team worked in close connection with the municipal authorities, bringing about numerous case studies (46) and establishing a methodology that can be of use in other portuguese cities.
As a result of this project, we have now an important database, a new website was created and is maintained by the City, 3 books and 13 papers were published, 3 well attended meetings were carried out, in order to present the relevant conclusions to the scientific community and to professionals in charge of planning and upkeeping of some of the concerned buildings.
Time and money were used in a perfectly acceptable way and the achieved results more than justify this full approval”