Anyone that comes to Portugal can’t miss hearing about one of the most devastating earthquakes. The Lisbon earthquake that happened on November first 1755 changed the city (and the whole country) to what it is today. At the Lisbon Story Center, you can learn all about Lisbon’s history.
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Make this your first visit in Lisbon
Throughout the city, there are many places that still show how bad the earthquake was. For example, the Carmo ruins that are also a tourist attraction in the city center. If you start your stay in Lisbon by visiting this place you will have the information for later when strolling around the city. For example – did you know that the huge square in the city center used to be a parking space for cars? Well, that’s one thing that you will learn during your visit.
And this place is not all about the earthquake – at the Lisbon Story Center you will learn all about Lisbon’s history and not just about the terrible tragedy that occurred.
Our visit to the Lisbon Story Center
When you get your ticket you will get an audioguide that is controlled by a GPS so you don’t need to push any buttons. If you change rooms before the audio is finished, it will automatically switch to the new information. The audio is easy to take in and it is made in a funny and interesting way. The place is pretty interactive and you get to see videos and sets that all tell a story – the story of Lisbon.
I’m not sure if it was our imagination or if they put actual smells in the room. For example, there was one set where they talked about spice trade from India and Africa. Both Mini and I felt that we could smell the scent of spices. However, this has not been confirmed so let us know if you agree with us!
The huge Lisbon Earthquake – November first 1755
After you have learned all about the Belem Tower it is time to see a movie that shows the earthquake. The movie that is played is very dramatic and you watch it from three different screens. I got goosebumps when they showed the destruction and suffering. And it breaks my heart to see what those poor people went through.
The day of the earthquake it happened to be a Sunday. A lot of the people were in church when it happened. Even if it only lasted for about three minutes it was one of the worlds worst earthquakes in the world and still the worst in Europe to this date. After the destruction there were fires that lasted for three days. The people that survived couldn’t understand what they had done wrong to make God do this to them. How terrible is that?
Bullfights on the square
Another fun fact that you will learn while here is that the square in Lisbon is one of the biggest in Europe and they used to have bullfights right in the middle of the square.
You will need at least an hour for the visit to the Lisbon Story Center.
Information about the Lisbon Story Center
Address: Praça do Comércio 78, Lisbon, Portugal.
Entrance fee: 7 euros (2018).
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 – 20.00