Lisbon 31st October 1755: the city imaginary museum

Paper presented at the Seminar THE CITY AS A VIRTUAL MUSEUM RECONSTRUCTING THE PAST TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT, V-Must, Network of Excellence (7FP) – Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology (SEAV), ISCTE – IUL – Escola de Sociologia e Politicas Publicas

21-22 February 2014

Recreating Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake using virtual worlds technology, a challenging and groundbreaking venture for scientific research and education.


  • Helena Murteira
  • Paulo Simões Rodrigues

Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake (video 2013)

Video of the current stage of the project “City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon” made at the request of the Ancient Art National Museum (Portugal) in the framework of the exhibition “The Prodigious Order. From the Patriarchal to the Royal Chapel of St. John Baptist”.

Project by CHAIA/University of Évora.

Scientific coordination: Alexandra Gago da Câmara, Helena Murteira and Paulo Simões Rodrigues. 3D modeling: Beta Technologies. Video production: Nuno Barrela. Music “Alessandro nell’Indie” by David Perez (1711-1778), recorded by Antena 2/RTP in 2005, which kindly allowed its use on the project.

Video for City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon

Presentation video for the City and Spectacle: A Vision of Pre-Earthquake Lisbon virtual archeology project, which is implementing a possible representation of the Baroque Lisbon of 1755 just before the earthquake destroyed it.

The technology used is Second Life/OpenSimulator and the research project will allow visitors to be immersed in the virtual environment and participate in interactive historical events with other users across the world, simultaneously and in real time.

This project is integrated in the “Connecting Cities” framework of the CHAIA research centre.

Research Team

  • Maria Alexandra Gago da Câmara (Art Historian, Open University, CHAIA)
  • Maria Helena Murteira (Art Historian, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, CHAIA)
  • Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues (Art Historian, University of Evora, CHAIA)

Production Team

  • Silvana Moreira (Modeler, Beta Technologies)
  • Luís Miguel Sequeira (System Administrator, Beta Technologies)

Video Production

  • Jeff Bush (Producer, Beta Technologies)
  • Michael Sudyn (Editor, Flying Dreams Inc.)
  • Phil Lee (Narration, CityVox)


  • Beta Technologies
  • King’s Visualisation Lab (King’s College)

Video – International Workshop Virtual Historic Cities: reinventing urban research

Lisbon, May 21, 2010

Workshop organized in the scope of the City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon project, a virtual recreation of the city of Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake, using Second Life® technology.

A pioneer project in Portugal, it is being developed by the Centre for History of Art and Artistic Research of the University of Évora (CHAIA), the company Beta Technologies, and the King’s Visualisation Lab (KVL), King’s College London.

Participants in this workshop included Bernard Frischer, Director of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia and scientific coordinator of the pioneer project Rome Reborn, a virtual recreation of Classic Rome; Richard Beacham, Director of the King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College London, an institution focused on the application of the virtual language to historical research; Drew Baker, researcher and one of the founders of this institution; Ana Cristina Leite, Director of the Lisbon City Museum; António Filipe Pimentel, Director of the Portuguese National Museum of Ancient Art; Alexandra Gago da Câmara, researcher of CHAIA; Carlos Tavares Ribeiro, member of the Scientific Committee of the company VERSUS – 3D interactive development in the Web; Cristina Gouveia, representantive of the company YDreams – specialists in interactive technologies; Helena Murteira, researcher of CHAIA; Luís Sequeira, representantive of the company Beta Technologies – Architects of the Virtual World; Paulo Rodrigues, researcher of CHAIA; Ricardo Branco, representative of the Cultural Itineraries of the Tourism Association of Lisbon and Vítor Cóias, Director of GECoRPA – Group of companies for the conservation and restoration of architectural heritage.