Year 2007 – “The cultivation of literary pursuits forms the basis of all sciences, and in their perfection consist the reputation and prosperity of kingdoms.” Marques de Pombal
A man of vision, Marques de Pombal has lifted Lisbon from the ashes after the devastating earthquake of 1755 that left Lisbon in mourning and in pieces. While many were still weeping without possible consolation, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known by Marques de Pombal, as Secretary of State (equivalent of Prime-Minister in modern days) pulled-up his sleeves and called everyone to work without delays. From architects to masons he made it clear he wanted a modern city to be rebuilt from the ashes as soon as possible!
Lisbon was at that time one of the most medieval cities of Europe with old neighbourhoods linked by never-end twisted roads with no running water or a sewer system. His vision made him and his architects the fathers of the modern urbanisation shaped by straight and wide streets, ready for whatever forms of transportation would evolve in the future. Among so many outstanding pieces of architecture and engineering that challenged the impossible, the picture above depicted the Aqueduct he approved to be built in order to bring fresh water to the city making Lisbon one of the most modern downtowns of Europe at that time. The Aqueduto das Aguas Livres operated until middle of last century and is today a live museum as part of the old running water system of Lisbon and worth to visit.