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 Event detail


Exhibition “1820. Liberal Revolution of Porto ”

Casa do Infante
Gravura coligida por Pedro Vitorino na obra Iconografia Histórica Portuense
Livro-catálogo da exposição '1820. Revolução Liberal do Porto'
Bicentenário da Revolução Liberal do Porto
2/20/2020 - 9/6/2020
Until 6th September | Porto
Gravura coligida por Pedro Vitorino na obra Iconografia Histórica Portuense
The exhibition “1820. Liberal Revolution of Porto ”, curated by José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro, professor of history at the University of Minho, opens this Thursday at Casa do Infante, in Porto, and will remain open until September. The initiative marks the 200th anniversary of the Liberal Revolution, in a program of the Municipality of Porto that includes half a hundred events, such as an international congress, colloquia, books, concerts, visits and cinema.

The documentary exhibition – UMinho said this Wednesday – starts with the main antecedents of the revolt: the court’s departure for Brazil in 1807; the Napoleonic invasion of Porto and the Ponte das Barcas disaster in 1809; the creation by Prince Regent D. João of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves in 1815; the conspiracy of 1817 and the execution of General Gomes Freire de Andrade, who ignited the revolt against the English presence and Marshal Beresford; and the establishment of the secret association Sanhedrin, in Porto, to organize the revolution.

In particular, the exhibition highlights Porto sources from those 40 days that shook the history of Portugal and Brazil two centuries ago. For Lopes Cordeiro, “the main piece is the minutes of the City Council of August 24, 1820, the text of which is entirely covered with black ink, an initiative of D. Miguel’s supporters after the absolutist turnaround”.

“The military pronouncement was made at five in the morning in Campo de Santo Ovídio (today Praça da República) and at eight o’clock everyone was in the Chamber, where the constitution of the Provisional Board of the Supreme Government of the Kingdom was approved, which inaugurated a new regime ”, he explains. The professor at the UMinho Institute of Social Sciences and researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Social Sciences (CICS) was somewhat surprised to find that the document was historically almost forgotten, although it was then transcribed in the local press, published in pamphlets and republished in Lisbon newspapers when the capital joined the movement.

Liberalism Victory

The definitive victory of liberalism was in 1834, with the Miguelist defeat in the civil war, after the failed siege of Porto, but José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro focused the exhibition until July 4, 1821, when the king landed in Lisbon. “The main objectives were fulfilled: the king and the court returned to the country, the English influence in the military was over and there was already a provisional document of the Constitution”, he observes.

In April, the historian launches a book that discusses the whole process of this first attempt to implant liberalism in Portugal. This book largely surpasses the catalog function of the exhibition, which will remain open until September 6 and has guided tours, with free entry from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:30, and ending on Monday and holidays.