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Marquês de Pombal (1699-1782)

Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, also known as Marquis of Pombal, was secretary of state and prime minister during the reign of D. José and is to this day one of the most controversial figures in Portuguese history.

He governed with an iron fist and was responsible for the abolishment of slavery in continental Portugal and for end of the Portuguese inquisition among other great political reforms. What made him well known was his leadership after the great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755, which destroyed most of the city. The buildings you see in downtown Lisbon are named Pombaline after him, they represent his vision and pragmatism in the rebuilding of the city, and were the first buildings in the western world to be built with anti-seismic concerns (pombaline cage).

Witness his legacy and get to know the city with our Marquês de Pombal Tour which includes a 360o view of downtown Lisbon from atop the arch of Rua Augusta.