November 21, 2016

Institute of the National Archives Portugal

The National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo) is Portugal's national archive and dates back to 1378. National Archive of Torre do Tombo was renamed the Instituto dos Arquivos Nacionais (Institute of the National Archives) in 2009. It is located north of central Lisbon and is home to many historic documents.

Institute of the National Archives Portugal.


The name Torre do Tombo comes from the fact that the archive was first kept in a tower of that name at Lisbon Castle (Castelo de São Jorge).

After the devastating 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, Manuel da Maia (1677-1768), the guardian of the archive, personally organized the safe transferal of the archive to the the Convent of São Bento, which is where the Portuguese Parliament now stands.

In 1990 the archive moved to its present location, a concrete, modernist building with large, striking gargoyles designed by sculptor José Aurélio.

Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha (Letter from Pêro Vaz de Caminha).
Among the thousands of documents stored here are the historically important Corpo Cronológico (Chronological Corpus), a collection of manuscripts on the Portuguese Age of Discoveries and an original copy of the Treaty of Tordesillas, negotiated by King João II of Portugal and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Castile, which divided the newly "discovered" lands outside Europe between the two Catholic powers.

The Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha (Letter from Pêro Vaz de Caminha), also in the archive, is the first document describing what was to become Brazil. Both the Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha and Corpo Cronológico are inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo
Alameda da Universidade
1649-010 Lisbon
Tel: 210 037 100

Cidade Universitária and Campo Grande are the nearest stations on the Lisbon metro.

Institute of the National Archives Portugal.

Institute of the National Archives Portugal.

Institute of the National Archives Portugal.

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