By LiaF7
1 years ago

Torre do Tombo - The Fortress of Knowledge

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The current "Torre do Tombo" building was designed by the architect Arsénio Cordeiro, in collaboration with the architect António Barreiros Ferreira.

It was inaugurated in 1990, destined to receive the National Archives that were kept in the building of the Monastery of São Bento da Saúde, that is today's Palace of São Bento, since 1757.

The new Archive inherited the name of the Castle of St. George's tower, where the documents of the kingdom were kept since 1378, and until 1755, when the records were endangered by the earthquake that struck Lisbon and destroyed most of the city.

The impressive structure of the "Torre do Tombo" consists of two large parallelepipeds united by a central body, which take the form of an immense H in plan.

These two wings stand on a broad base that gives it the semblance of a fortress; it has a "rough look" symbolizing the intention that it can last an eternity like the documents it preserves.

The building occupies an area of ​​11,265 square meters, spread over seven floors, with the lower three being for the technical offices, the reading rooms, the auditorium and the exhibition hall. The four upper floors, lodge 140 kilometers of shelves filled with documents, has smooth and austere cement facades, having only small square window openings making it resemble a safe.

At the center of each façade stands a vertical projecting body, in the shape of a buttress, which composes a T with the upper blocks of the building, reproducing the initials of the "Tower of Tombo".

The main and rear facades, facing south and north, are topped by a total of eight gargoyles, art of the sculptor José Aurélio, and represent fundamental elements of the history of humanity and the particular mission of the national archives in the past and present .

The gargoyles of the main facade are the Guard of the Alphabet, the Hertzian Warden, the Old, the New and the Death, and Good and Evil; The gargoyles of the rear facade exhibit Tragedy and Comedy, War and Peace, the Guard of Stones and the Guard of the Papyrus.

"Torre do Tombo holds more than ten centuries of Portuguese historic documentary, including documents prior to the foundation of nationality, and others as relevant as the Bull dated of the year 1179"Manifestis Probatum", considered by UNESCO as Memory of the World. There are also more than 36,000 cases of the Inquisition, many dictatorship documents, and Portugal's agreement to join the EEC. The oldest document it holds is from 882 belonging to the Cete Monastery.

It also holds Church records older than 100 years (in practice between the second half of the sixteenth century and 1911); some are microfilmed and digital content is uploaded online for free consultation, others are available also for free but by presential consultation needing a previous appointment. I have gone there many times to complete some of my Genealogy Researches.

To see what is available online in Portugal I use this site that is very helpful:

http://tombo.pt/en/content/how-create-your-portuguese-family-tree

The parishes are on the left side of the page (if you are on a computer)

More images

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1 years
luluarte Never been there!! :D
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1 years
1 years
Fesalvia Beaultiful
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1 years
1 years
LiaF7 Inside when you enter first floor you feel like you're in a Museum. Second floor looks like a Library. Have eaten also in their back facilities, nice restaurant. Other floors we are not allowed to go.
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1 years
1 years
LiaF7 Thank you Fesalvia :)
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1 years
1 years
birjudanak its really awesome and unique
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1 years
1 years
graciana Looks a very wrong architecture Lia...
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1 years
1 years
flapiz Interesting architecture :)
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1 years
1 years
LiaF7 birjudanak and flapiz... thank you :)
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1 years
1 years
LiaF7 Grace, looks wrong? It has an abnormal architecture for it's purpose. It is to preserve documents for centuries and centuries without deterioration. If you look from front it looks like two T's, as it's name: Torre do Tombo.
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1 years