Regulation of Private Building Activity in Medieval Lisbon

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The first firm evidence for building regulatory control in Lisbon goes back to the end of the thirteenth century. With Islamic origins, the Portuguese official almotacé had responsibilities of control over the market, urban cleaning and building activity. To resolve building disputes between neighbours the Lisbon’s almotacé used local neighbourly and customary rules. In this chapter these customary regulations relating to private building activity are contextualised, presented and analysed for mid-fifteenth century Lisbon. Also highlighted are their later adaptation as general law for the whole kingdom from 1521, which remained active until the mid-nineteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Regulations and Urban Form, 1200-1900
EditorsTerry S. Slater, Sandra M.G. Pinto
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315570464
ISBN (Print)9781472485373
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Portugal
  • Lisbon
  • Almoçataria institution
  • Neighbourly disputes
  • Building regulations
  • Formal effects of the legal order
  • Middle Ages


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