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Lisbon in the time of king Manuel I

The city that longed for the world

05 Nov 2021 — 27 Mar 202210h – 18h

3 € (grants access to the whole venue)

Tickets available at

Opening: 4 NOV | 6pm

Free admission, subject to room capacity


On the 500th anniversary of the death of King Manuel I, the Museum of Lisbon, in partnership with the Olisipo Studies Office, examines the impact of this monarch on "his" city of Lisbon.

During the reign of King Manuel I, the kingdom of Portugal became a global power. Aware of the need to provide the empire with a strong, organised and grandiose centre of decision making, the monarch radically changed the capital, endowing it with new facilities that would allow Lisbon to effectively manage the empire and function as a hub from which Brazil, China and the Moluccas could be reached.

By around 1500, King Manuel I had decided to build a new palace in Ribeira as his main residence, ceasing to live in the old Paço da Alcáçova in the castle of São Jorge. Moving the royal residence and the administrative apparatus of the state to the riverside was just one of many aspects of King Manuel I's intervention in Lisbon. By 1521, the year of his death, the city had undergone significant changes, with its new urban physiognomy largely maintained until the earthquake of 1755.

Curated by José Manuel Garcia (Olisipo Studies Office), the exhibition will be complemented by a programme of guided tours (with the curator and museum staff), a cycle of conversations with experts in various fields and family activities.



"Lisbona," watercolour engraving, printed on paper published in Georg Braun's "Civitatis Orbis Terrarum" (1572)