Heraldry in the royal palace of Sintra: ‘In the Service of the Crown’ project on national TV in Portugal
The show Visita Guiada (‘Guided Visit’) by Portuguese journalist Paula Moura Pinheiro is currently the most popular program of Portugal’s public broadcasting channel RTP 2. Every week, a Portuguese monument of cultural importance is presented by a specialist, generally a historian.
Last week, the chosen monument was the royal palace in Sintra and its sala dos brasões (‘hall of coats of arms’). It was presented by Miguel Metelo de Seixas, post-doctoral researcher at the Medieval Studies Institute (IEM) at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where he is the director of the project ‘Portuguese Heraldry (15th to 18th Centuries): A Visual Culture of Political and Social Representation’.
At the same time, he leads, together with Torsten Hiltmann, the German-Portuguese research project ‘In the Service of the Crown: The Use of Heraldry in Royal Political Communication in Late Medieval Portugal’, funded by the VolskwagenFoundation, which seeks to deepen our knowledge on the particular development of political communication in late medieval Portugal. Associated with the ‘Performance of Coats of Arms’ project, it tries to understand the practices of heraldic communication in this context, for which the sala dos brasões at Sintra provides one of the cases studies for the project. Accordingly, in March, an international conference was held in Lisbon and Sintra dedicated to royal and princely State-rooms in general and the sala dos brasões in particular.
During his appearance on the show, Miguel Metelo de Seixas was able to highlight some of the research carried out as part of the joint project and to introduce its results to a wider public. Since the project was funded especially to contribute to support the scientific research in Portugal, to increase the visibility of scholars in the public and to communicate their results to a wider, non-academic audience, this appearance on national TV is a great success. Congratulations to all those involved in the project and the conference that took place in Lisbon and Sintra earlier this year!
The episode is available online: https://www.rtp.pt/play/p3373/e292137/visita-guiada