Visit the new Quake Lisbon Earthquake Experience

Visit the new Quake Lisbon Earthquake Experience. Quake is an opportunity to learn more about Lisbon, architecture and city planning, earthquakes, and the science of seismology.  At the same time, Quake is entertaining, engaging, and interactive. The Quake Lisbon Earthquake Center opened on April 16, 2022.

At 9:45 on November 1, 1755, many of the people of Lisbon were in church, celebrating All Saints Day. In the blink of an eye, an earthquake destroyed a large portion of the city. Afterward, Lisbon was ravaged by fire and a tsunami. This disaster killed thousands of people and changed the city forever.

Lisbon’s Quake Experience allows visitors to imagine life prior to, during, and after the earthquake. 

Visitors of Lisbon's Quake Earthquake Experience pass through this replica of the Igreja do Carmo Church doors in order to enter the earthquake simulator
Visitors of Lisbon’s Quake Earthquake Experience pass through this replica of the Igreja do Carmo Church doors in order to enter the earthquake simulator
 

What to Expect at the Quake Lisbon Experience

Upon arrival, you will be given your own Radio Frequency Identification Bracelet.  As you go through the Quake Experience, you can use the bracelet to bookmark the interactive stations that you liked, or if you would like to have more information on certain topics, the bracelet will allow you to record them and then the Quake Lisbon Earthquake Center will email you information on the topic after your visit. You can also use the bracelet to take souvenir pictures.

Visitors imagine the ability to travel through time at Lisbon's Quake Earthquake Center
Visitors imagine the ability to travel through time at Lisbon’s Quake Earthquake Center

A scenario is presented where you have to travel back in time. One of the first stops is a laboratory, where you will learn about faults, plate tectonics, waves, and seismography.

Visitors are shown the destruction caused by the San Francisco Earthquake.

Most importantly, visitors have the opportunity to relive the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake.

You enter into a replica of the Igreja do Carmo church. At one moment you are sitting there in a church pew watching Mass unfold in front of you, and the next minute the seats start to shake, the building starts to rumble, then the ceiling starts to fall (on the screens in front and to the sides of you). Candles fall to the ground and the room is engulfed in smoke, but this is a simulation and you are actually in a safe environment.

Following the simulation, you are asked to contemplate what it must have been like for those who survived. Where are your relatives? Are they safe? Is another earthquake coming?  Is it safe to sleep in our home?  Or, we lost our home.  Where do we sleep?  Do we stay in this town or do we leave? Citizens and philosophers in this devoutly religious country even began to question the existence of God.

City administrators pondered questions such as “Do we allow the people to leave?  Who will rebuild the city if the labor leaves?  How will we rebuild?  What are the characteristics of the buildings that weren’t destroyed?  What can we learn from the buildings that survived?”  

Quake puts you in the seat of the leaders who had to govern and rebuild the city.  They describe the situation, present options that were on the table in 1755, and ask, “What would you do?”  You record your response, and then they reveal what the leadership chose to do in the aftermath of the earthquake.   Sometimes the answers are surprising.

How to get to Quake Lisbon Earthquake Center

The Quake Lisbon Earthquake Center is located in the Belém neighborhood. For more information, Lisbon’s historic Belém neighborhood | Everything you need to know – lisbontravelideas.com

Address: Rua Cais  da Alfândega Velha 39

Take tram 15E or tram 18E to Belém.

Take the train from Cais do Sodré toward Cascais.  Get off at the Belém stop.

Take bus 201,714, 728,729, 751

Quake is located next to the Coaches Museum.

GPS Coordinates: 38.69708976820186, -9.19693223107773

Admission to Quake Lisbon Earthquake Experience

Adult tickets are 25€. Tickets for children ages six to twelve are 17€. Tickets for senior citizens are 19€.

Hours

Quake is open from Tuesday to Thursday 2 pm to 7 pm. Friday to Monday open 10 AM until 7 pm.

Visitors should plan on spending one hour and 40 minutes in the museum.

Visitors can experience Quake in Portuguese, English, Spanish, or French.

History of Quake Lisbon Earthquake Experience

Quake Experience is recommended for all ages six and up. Quake is able to accommodate those with special mobility needs. Those guests will be accompanied by a staff member throughout the experience, so it will be necessary to get in touch prior to coming to Quake Lisbon Earthquake Experience. Official website: https://lisbonquake.com/en-GB

“Lisbon’s Quake Experience was the idea of Lisbon natives Maria Marques and Ricardo Clemente. They’ve lived in Lisbon their whole lives and love the city. However, they felt that Lisbon needed a place that would tell its story from a different perspective, in an immersive and entertaining way. So they came to the conclusion that the starting point for it all should be Lisbon’s most transformative event, the 1755 Earthquake. The process, from the idea to the grand opening, took about seven years.”

According to Clara Santiago, Marketing Manager of Quake Lisbon, “To make Quake possible, Maria and Ricardo brought together knowledge and talent, technology and creativity.

The initial work of seismologists Susana Custódio and Luís Matias, teachers at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon and researchers at Dom Luiz Institute, as well as of historian and writer André Canhoto Costa, is the foundation on which they began to create Quake.

Marta Pisco, theater producer, coordinated the creative process in articulation with the scientific and historical content presented by the experts.”

Technology allows visitors to visualize themselves walking the streets of Lisbon on the morning of November 1, 1755 at the Quake lisbon Earthquake Experience

She continued, “The development of the concept and the creation of the experience was the task of Jora Vision, a Dutch production and technology company, in partnership with Mr. Beam studio, t2 media and Kraftwerk Living Technologies.

The Portuguese studio Fragmentos was in charge of the building’s project, integrating it into the architectural panorama of Belém and with the design of the experience itself.

The Lisbon Museum/EGEAC played the key role of partner and supporter in the historical research and in providing images and documentation to support the research and experience. To create the experience, 25 projectors are used for video-mapping, more than 30 screens in interactive exhibits, motion benches, audio guides in 4 languages, fans, smelling machines, lighting, and other equipment that allow an immersive 4D experience.”

Thank you for taking the time to read about the Quake Lisbon Experience and the Quake Lisbon Earthquake Center. I am not affiliated with the Center, so prices may vary.

If you would like information on other museums in Lisbon, see my article, Finding the most interesting museums in Lisbon – lisbontravelideas.com Quake does not currently offer a discount with the Lisboa Card however, if you choose to purchase a card through the link below, I will receive a small commission.