The Path of Gold from Brazil to Portugal: Decadence & Splendour with Estela Mendes - Context Travel

The Path of Gold from Brazil to Portugal: Decadence & Splendour with Estela Mendes


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This seminar takes us on a journey to discover the path of gold from Brazil to Portugal in the 18th century. We will also learn how the gold trade affected these two countries, both economically and socially, in this expert-led seminar.

In 1500 Portugal announced that it had "discovered" Brazil, thus making it a Portuguese colony. But no Portuguese person had much interest in moving there. In 1580 Portugal lost its independence to Spain, in what would become a long and unpopular union. This situation weakened Portugal both financially and politically, however, this all changed when a group of people discovered gold in Brazil in the late 17th century. Portugal saw the opportunity to gain back its position as one of the leading countries in the World.

In this seminar, we will trace the path of gold from the mines in Brazil all the way to Portugal and find out how it was used and where we can still see it today. This was an extraordinary period of change both for Portugal and Brazil. It contributed to the development of Brazilian society and culture, and for the increment of the Brazilian population. For Portugal, it was the golden ticket for a new position in the international political arena. Together, we will also look at how the abundance of wealth is reflected in the arts in both countries and how the two define an apparent similar but very particular artistic style. This is the golden age of Baroque Architecture for Portugal and Brazil.

Led by local art historian, Estela Mendes, participants will emerge with a deeper understanding of the evolution of the Brazilian Portuguese gold trade in the 18th century. Designed to both inform and educate, this seminar will successfully expose this fascinating history.

Estela Mendes is a Portuguese art historian, with a Master's in museum studies. She has worked in both Portugal and the UK, leading tours for more than 15 years both in education departments in museums and with tourist groups.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.