Lisbon Chorographies Overview

Lisbon was the vast Portuguese Empire’s capital city. Along with other smaller Portuguese territorial possessions, Braun and Hogenberg depicted this capital city in the first edition of Civitates Orbis Terrarum in 1572, and multiple scholars discuss this visualization within comparative contexts. Timothy D. Walker and Ana Rita Vicente Drumond de Abreu utilize Braun and Hogenberg’s Lisbon as a tool to compare Lisbon in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the city following a massive earthquake in 1755. The earthquake forced the state to reconstruct the city for the first time since Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Walker argues that the city’s reconstruction included less religiously influenced architecture than before. He justifies this argument by proving that the church facades and belltowers shown in Braun and Hogenberg’s work are now obsolete in Lisbon.[1] Unlike Walker’s contrast between before and after the earthquake, Abreu uses the view to describe the bustling riverbank before the earthquake, showing a similarity before and after the earthquake.[2] Stefan Halikowski Smith discusses the Lisbon view in relation to “Chafariz d’el Rei,” a painting by an anonymous Flemish painter. Smith implies that the painting accurately illustrates breaks in Lisbon’s exterior walls because Braun and Hogenberg placed them in the same location. [3] Based on the comparisons these scholars draw, Braun and Hogenberg’s Lisbon visualization is an important visualization of sixteenth century Lisbon.

[1] Timothy D. Walker, “Enlightened Absolutism and the Lisbon Earthquake: Asserting State Dominance over Religious Sites and the Church in Eighteenth-Century Portugal,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 48, no. 3 (2015): 307–28,

[2] Ana Rita Vicente Drumond de Abreu, “O som do espaço” (masterThesis, Universidade de Lisboa. Faculdade de Arquitetura, 2015),[3] Stefan Halikowski Smith, “Lisbon in the Sixteenth Century: Decoding the Chafariz d’el Rei,” 2008,

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