The Municipality of Loulé celebrated last Friday, December 1st, the 383rd anniversary of the Restoration of the Independence from Portugal and recalled the legacy of freedom and tolerance left behind.
This was the third consecutive year in which the Municipality of Loulé responded to the invitation of the Historical Society of the Independence of Portugal and marked this important date in national history.
«This December 1st, a national holiday, has a patriotic meaning of restoring our sovereignty, that is, our freedom. And this freedom is located at the level of thought, culture, values and above all identity. The freedom of peoples and countries is nourished a little every day through political decisions, actions, social and governmental ethics and, of course, respect and tolerance for others", highlighted President Vítor Aleixo during his speech alluding to this ephemeris.
After a formal moment with the raising of the Flag to the sound of the National Anthem played by the Artistas de Minerva Philharmonic Band, next to the Castle wall, it was time for the laying of a wreath on the facade of the Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, where there is a tombstone alluding to the consecration of Our
Senhora da Conceição as Patroness of Portugal, by royal order of D. João IV.
This moment coincided with the speeches of the mayor of Loulé and the parish priest.
Almost four centuries later, the mayor of Loulé expressed the gratitude of Loulé residents for the legacy of the conspirators who, in 1640, fought for the restoration of Portugal's independence, but also for «all the heroes, men of the people, women of the people, soldiers , civilians, artists, thinkers, writers, politicians who, over the centuries, fought to reinforce our independence and our identity».
And because this was also a period in history in which the Church played a very important role in supporting the new king, the parish priest of Loulé Carlos Aquino recalled that «Portugal was built with the roots of Faith and Christianity and this celebration revives O!".
On this day, the municipality of Loulé also wanted to bring an educational note with a conference at the Municipal Archives where it was possible to learn a little more about the Restoration period.
Historian Joana Fraga brought the topic “Images that speak: visual propaganda during the 1640 revolt”.
One of D. João IV's priorities was to combat the idea of his rebellion and demonstrate the legitimacy of the new dynasty. And he did so through propaganda that, as in our days, “resorted to the same strategies, such as appealing to feelings and image manipulation”.
It was through painting, with emphasis on the Court painter, Avelar Rebelo, and especially engravings, «which had the advantage of being cheaper and also reaching people who could not read» that information circulated in favor of the Bragancista cause , in Portugal and Europe.
Also some ceramics and tiles (for example tile panels commissioned by churches), statues, especially that of the Immaculate Conception, will be very important in this period of affirmation of the new monarch.
«D. João IV consecrates the crown to the Immaculate Conception, from here onwards there is a multiplication of images of the Virgin in public space», considered lecturer Joana Fraga.