Architecture as a Tool in Building the Image of the New State

Marta Raquel Pinto Baptista, "Arquitectura como Instrumento na Construção de uma Imagem do Estado Novo" (architecture as a tool in building an image of the New State), Architecture Degree Thesis, Coimbra, 2008 (excerpt translated into English)

In order to understand the intentions of the Salazar regime in the use of architecture in the service of his ideological promotion, you must analyze the exploration of architecture as a scenic mechanism, placed within the context of celebratory public ceremonies, reflected not only in exhibitions held within the country—in which the ‘Historical Exhibition of the Portuguese World’ in 1940 stands out—but prior Portuguese participation in international exhibitions.

In a period marked by the rise of the major European fascist regimes, we find a strong investment in public ceremonies, and the exhibitions were an important means of transmission and ideological influence on the mass population. In fact, between 1934 and 1940 numerous exhibitions were held, including the Colonial Exhibition of Porto, in 1934, the restoration of Old Lisbon, ahead of São Bento Palace in 1935, the already mentioned Exhibition of the Year of Revolution X National Park Eduardo VII in 1936 and the Historical Exhibition of the Occupation in 1937. Portuguese participation in international events included the 1937 Universal Exposition in Paris, and in 1939, participation in the New York World’s Fair and Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco.