Plan de la ville de Lisbonne en 1650 existant aux Archives Municipales [Map of the city of Lisbon in 1650 existing in the Municipal Archives]
This large-scale plan of Lisbon by João Nunes Tinoco (c.1610–1689) is the oldest known map of the city. It was drawn up in 1650, when King João IV was studying how the capital might be defended in the event of a new Spanish invasion.
The original document was lost in the 19th century. Fortunately, it had previously been seen by General Eusébio Pinheiro Furtado, who had a copy made in 1850 and presented it to Lisbon City Council.
It is possible that Tinoco’s map was made to assess the state of the ancient city walls, which would explain the artist’s focus on the area encompassed by the enclosure dating from the time of King Fernando. The towers of this structure were drawn but not labelled, unlike the main churches, which are supplemented with captions. The architect Mateus do Couto also worked on the survey of Lisbon's military capabilities, which was ordered by King João IV, but it is not known exactly what he accomplished as part of the project.
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© Museu de Lisboa