In 1755, a powerful earthquake hit the city of Lisbon for an astonishing 5-6 minutes. And that was not all. Once survivors managed to climb out of the rubble, and flee to the riverbank, they were greeted by a massive tsunami. And in the end, the fires started.
The city of Lisbon burnt for eight consecutive days. Tens of thousands of people died, and Portugal was crippled as an imperial power.
People in Lisbon were asking where is God in the Rubble of Lisbon? The city was known as a Roman Catholic city, and the Catholic Church was in its foundation. What is more unique, the earthquake happened on All Saints Day. People thought that the earthquake was a sort of a divine revenge for the way Portugal had conquered many of the counties in South America.
At the time, Marquis Pombal was the ruler of Portugal, and he survived the catastrophic event. Once he got out of Lisbon, he said “we bury the dead and heal the living”. He immediately began the rebuild of Lisbon, designing the central area of the city to be earthquake resistant. He even directed models to be built, and they were tested under stimulation of the effects of an earthquake.