The Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, has inaugurated Quake – Lisbon Earthquake Centre, a space which covers 1,800 square metres and represents an investment of €8 million, where it is possible to experience the earthquake of 1755 in an immersive way.
According to a report by Publituris: “We do not show content, we have an immersive journey that combines history, science and emotion”, said Ricardo Clemente, responsible for Quake, explaining that the centre uses simulators, video mapping and other cutting-edge technologies to transport visitors back to 1 November 1755, when the earthquake destroyed the Portuguese capital, which at the time was the fourth largest city in the world.
More than a museum, Quake asserts itself as an interpretation centre, where visitors can “see, feel and smell, and soon also taste”, Lisbon from the 18th century, through an immersive route that passes through several rooms and that invites visitors to interact.
As Carlos Moedas stated at the inauguration of the space, Quake offers what people are currently looking for in a museum, a place where you go to “live history” and which, according to the mayor, is “one of the first to have this vision”.
“People today are not available to listen to history, they are not available to read history, but we know that, in this new generation, we are available to live history”, said the mayor during the opening ceremony of the space, which is located in Belém, next to the Coach Museum.
In total, Quake offers 1,800 square meters of a “unique experience in Portugal and in the world”, according to Ricardo Clemente, who explained that the immersive route of this space passes through several rooms and also intends to have a didactic role, raising awareness of the new generations to the fact that Portugal is located in an area of seismic risk and the fact that this is not a question of 'if', but of 'when' a new earthquake will happen again.
The visit, which lasts approximately 1h30, starts in a waiting room where visitors can appreciate various paintings and images that depict Lisbon in the 17th century, then move on to a didactic room on seismology, where it is possible to learn how earthquakes happen, which is followed by another room that compares the Lisbon earthquake with some of the largest earthquakes ever to have occurred in the world.
But the highlight of the visit is the entry into the time machine, which goes back to All Saints' Day in 1755 and takes us directly to the Church of São Nicolau, where it is possible to see and feel what the earthquake must have been like, through video mapping and pews that move as the earthquake increases in intensity and the building collapses.
After the natural disaster, the visit continues through another room that shows us the destruction and consequences of the earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami whose wave reached five meters in height, until we were directly transported to the office of Sebastião José de Carvalho and Melo, the Marquis of Pombal, who was responsible for the reconstruction of the city.
Entrance to Quake starts at €31 for adults and €21.50 for children aged between six and 12, while seniors pay €25. Groups with more than 10 people have prices from €22.