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Joseph I, The Reformer, reigned as King of Portugal from 31 July 1750 until his death. Among other activities, Joseph was devoted to hunting and the opera. Indeed, he assembled one of the greatest collections of operatic scores in Europe.

Joseph succeeded to the Portuguese throne in 1750, when he was 36 years old, and almost immediately placed effective power in the hands of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known today as the Marquis of Pombal. Indeed, the history of Joseph's reign is really that of Pombal himself. King Joseph also declared his eldest daughter Maria Francisca as the official heiress of the throne and proclaimed her Princess of Brazil. By this time, the king did not believe he would ever father a son by his queen.

The reign of Joseph is also noteworthy for the Lisbon earthquake, firestorm and tsunami of 1 November 1755, in which between 30,000 and 40,000 people died. The earthquake caused Joseph to develop a severe case of claustrophobia, and he was never again comfortable living within a walled building. Consequently, he moved the royal court to an extensive complex of tents in the hills of Ajuda.

The Project for the Royal Palace in Campo de Ourique was an ambitious palatial complex planned for the Campo de Ourique neighborhood of Lisbon, but later abandoned due to a lack of impetus from the Portuguese Royal Family and a prioritization of other reconstruction efforts.

The capital was eventually rebuilt at great cost, and an equestrian statue of King Joseph still dominates the Praça do Comércio, Lisbon's main plaza....
 
 
Joseph I, The Reformer, reigned as King of Portugal from 31 July 1750 until his death. Among other activities, Joseph was devoted to hunting and the opera. Indeed, he assembled one of the greatest collections of operatic scores in Europe.

Joseph succeeded to the Portuguese throne in 1750, when he was 36 years old, and almost immediately placed effective power in the hands of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known today as the Marquis of Pombal. Indeed, the history of Joseph's reign is really that of Pombal himself. King Joseph also declared his eldest daughter Maria Francisca as the official heiress of the throne and proclaimed her Princess of Brazil. By this time, the king did not believe he would ever father a son by his queen.

The reign of Joseph is also noteworthy for the Lisbon earthquake, firestorm and tsunami of 1 November 1755, in which between 30,000 and 40,000 people died. The earthquake caused Joseph to develop a severe case of claustrophobia, and he was never again comfortable living within a walled building. Consequently, he moved the royal court to an extensive complex of tents in the hills of Ajuda.

The Project for the Royal Palace in Campo de Ourique was an ambitious palatial complex planned for the Campo de Ourique neighborhood of Lisbon, but later abandoned due to a lack of impetus from the Portuguese Royal Family and a prioritization of other reconstruction efforts.

The capital was eventually rebuilt at great cost, and an equestrian statue of King Joseph still dominates the Praça do Comércio, Lisbon's main plaza....

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Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal and 1st Count of Oeiras, known as the Marquis of Pombal, was a Portuguese statesman and diplomat who effectively ruled the Portuguese Empire from 1750 to 1777 as chief minister to King Joseph I...
 
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