Room 01 - Misericórdia do Porto: History and Action
Europe in the late Middle Ages experienced a widespread economic recession that hit the countryside and the city. This had to do with several factors, among which emerges the dramatic triad of plague, famine and war. Changes in productive structures and modes of social organization were another disturbing element.
The Confraternity of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia, founded by Queen Leonor, perhaps benefiting from the Florentine model, was the Portuguese response to the crisis that has combined the stimulus and the impulse of the central government, supported by municipal structures, with the charitable solidarity of the population.
The Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto was founded in 1499 upon the recommendation of the king of Portugal, D. Manuel I. Queen Leonor continued to support the institution after its foundation, being attentive to the problems of society.