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Talk : The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 – death and destruction in the Algarve

Peter Kingdon Booker, president of the Algarve History Association, is giving a presentation about the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 on Tuesday, January 23 at the Municipal Library in Lagoa at 6pm and then on Friday, January 26 at 11am.

The Lisbon Earthquake of November 1, 1755 was the most powerful earthquake in the recorded history of Europe. It had a profound influence on Portugal, and was also felt over a wide area of Europe and North Africa. This natural phenomenon was the cause of much debate over the nature of divine judgement on human failings; and because it occurred during the Age of Enlightenment, many forward-thinkers were able to reject such notions.

But it was not only Lisbon that was affected, of course. The Algarve, being so much closer to the epicentre, also suffered severely. The focus of this particular talk is on the damage inflicted on one of the poorest regions of mainland Portugal.

What was the extent of the damage in the Kingdom of the Algarve? Why did some towns suffer more than others? Why were some buildings wrecked, while others emerged relatively unscathed? And, most interesting of all, how did the government of Portugal make its amazing contribution to today’s science of seismology?

There is no set charge for the talk, but attendees are welcome to make donations to support the association with its events.

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