Lisboa: A Stop at Parque Subway Station

Posted on June 22, 2006


by claudia dias

My favourite subway station in Lisboa is an enigmatic cave of walls filled with maps, mathematical and astronomical references, symbols, philosophical and literary quotations…the main theme being the Portuguese seafaring explorations.

(Ptolemy’s Theory)

“Ptolemy formulated a geocentric model of the solar system which remained the generally accepted model in the Western and Arab worlds until it was superseded by the heliocentric solar system of Copernicus.” more on Wikipedia

(Dürer’s magical square)

“The order-4 magic square in Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Melancholia I is believed to be the first seen in European art. It is very similar to Yang Hui’s square, which was created in China about 250 years before Dürer’s times. The sum 34 can be found in the rows, columns, diagonals, each of the quadrants, the center four squares, the corner squares, the four outer numbers clockwise from the corners (3+8+14+9) and likewise the four counter-clockwise (the locations of four queens in the two solutions of the 4 queens puzzle), the two sets of four symmetrical numbers (2+8+9+15 and 3+5+12+14) and the sum of the middle two entries of the two outer columns and rows (e.g. 5+9+8+12), as well as several kite-shaped quartets, e.g. 3+5+11+15; the two numbers in the middle of the bottom row give the date of the engraving: 1514.”

– from Wikipedia

(Segredo – Secret)

“The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a snake or dragon swallowing its tail, constantly creating itself and forming a circle. It is associated with alchemy, Gnosticism, and Hermeticism. It represents the cyclical nature of things, eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end.

In alchemy, the ouroboros symbolises the circular nature of the alchemist’s opus which unites the opposites: the conscious and unconscious mind. Christians adopted the Ouroboros as a symbol of the limited confines of this world (that there is an “outside” being implied by the demarcation of an inside), and the self-consuming transitory nature of a mere this-worldly existence” – more on Wikipedia.

(Zacuto’s astronomical tables)

“Abraham Zacuto perfected the Astrolabe, which only then became an instrument of precision, and he was the author of the highly accurate astronomical tables that were used by ship captains to determine the position of their portuguese caravel in high seas, through calculations on data acquired with an Astrolabe. His contributions were undoubtedly valuable in saving the lives of portuguese seamen, and allowing them to reach Brazil and India.”- more on the Wikipedia

(L’éthique est être à la hauteur de la situation/ Ethics is to be up to the situation – Gilles Deleuze)