Museu do Aljube: symbol of resistance to dictatorship
On the last 3rd of December, our Portuguese language school organized a guided visit inside Museu do Aljube.
Museu do Aljube is located in Rua Augusto Rosa 42. It is dedicated to the memory of the struggle against dictatorship and resistance to freedom and democracy.
Aljube is an Arabic word that means prison. It worked as an ecclesiastical prison during the modern age. During the 19th century, it was a female prison. Many women were imprisoned because they were prostitutes. With the implementation of the Portuguese dictatorship in 1926, Museu do Aljube became a prison for political prisoners.
The guide of the museum, named Judite, was very attentive along the visit. We started at the temporary exhibition about Jaime Cortesão. He was an important historian, although many people are not aware that his life was very instable. He was exiled and arrested several times by the political police, the last time he was already 73 years old.
On the first and second floors there are permanent exhibitions dedicated to the memory of the struggle against dictatorship. In this part of the visit, we learned about the mechanisms of the regime on controlling people’s lives. The censorship and the political police (PIDE) were some of them. Then, we had the chance of learning about the people that lived clandestinely and could fight against the regime through clandestine newspapers. Probably the emotionally hardest part of the visit was when Judite talked about the tortures and showed us the tiny cells.
On the third floor, we saw the permanent exhibition about the liberation struggles of colonial peoples and the colonial war.
After the guided visit, we went to the pastry shop Casa Chinesa!
Below, you can check out our photos:
Museu do Aljube | Fighting against the dictatorship
Lisbon, being a cosmopolitan city, has many cultural offers. From churches, to roman or medieval monuments and to museums, there is a wide range of things to do in Lisbon. On the next 3rd of December, our Portuguese language school will organize a guided visit to Museu do Aljube | Resistência e Liberdade.
Museu do Aljube is the only museum in Lisbon with a historical approach connected to the Portuguese dictatorship. Since 1926 until 1974, there was a dictatorship in Portugal. This historical period lasted much of the Portuguese history of the 20th century hence, it’s important to know it.
Indira Leão, our history teacher, will accompany us during the guided visit. It will take 1h30 and will be held in Portuguese by a museum guide.
The building of Aljube, an Arabic word for jail, dates back to the Roman and Islamic period. It was usually a prison: ecclesiastical prison, women’s prison, and finally political prison from 1928 to 1965.
Over four floors, the museum addresses the rise and fall of fascism, providing a brief history of Portugal between 1890 and 1976. It also shows examples of what was censorship of the media and the book and record production during the dictatorship (1926-1974). Aljube equally emphasizes the anti-fascist fight, exposing the lives of men and women who fought against fascism. Besides, there is a part of the visit, which may be rough for the most sensitive people. It’s related to the tortures inflicted by the political police (PIDE/DGS) to the political prisoners. In this short film, you’ll watch an arrest and torture process of political prisoner.
After the guided visit, we’ll go to a coffee shop.