International Meeting of Art and Alchemy
Trancoso August 23, 24 e 25. 2007
Arts, Sciences and Technology Foundation - Observatory

Direction: Dr. Giorgio Alberti and Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta


Trancoso is a fascinating medieval city not far from Spain, located in Northern Portugal, created as a military defensive fortress in the 12th century by the first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques.

The impressive main gate of the city was built in homage to the king Dom Dinis. He married to Isabel of Aragon in 1282, and offered the city to the queen. He also started a trade fair exempt of taxes - this is the origin of the great Fair that happens in Trancoso every Friday and especially in the months of August.

The city became an important Jewish centre, especially between the 14th and 15th centuries. One of the most celebrated personages of Trancoso was the mysterious poet and cabalistic Bandarra - who lived between 1500 and 1545 - by many compared to Nostradamus. He profoundly influenced Fernando Pessoa.

Named Gonçalo Annes, Bandarra was a poet and thinker who attracted the attention of many along the centuries, like the priest and also philosopher Antonio Vieira.

Fernando Pessoa is very known as one of the most important poets all over the world in the 20th century. His works have been translated and published in the most varied languages.

Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada, published in 1985, has researched the origin of the term plus ultra. It is closely associated with the Pillars of Hercules, which according to Roman mythology were built by Hercules, possibly near the Straits of Gibraltar, marking the edge of the then known world. According to mythology the pillars bore the warning Nec Plus Ultra - also Non Plus Ultra, "nothing further beyond" - serving as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further.

It is believed that the young Charles V adopted Plus Ultra as his motto at the suggestion of his doctor and personal advisor Luigi Marliano. The idea was to encourage him to ignore the ancient warning and encourage him to take risks and go further beyond. Charles V was born in Ghent in modern Belgium and as a result the motto is also used in this region.

After Columbus's achievement, the term was officially shortened to a smarter plus ultra. Columbus's personal view of the risks his voyage involved, of the chances he was taking, is a matter of interesting speculation.

Even before Charles V, alchemists adopted the term plus ultra as the challenge to overpass the apparent reality of our senses. In London, in 1668, reflecting such idea, Joseph Glanvill published his famous work Plus ultra: or, the progress and advancement of knowledge since the days of Aristotle.

Alchimiarte is a group of researchers on the relations between art and alchemy along the centuries. It was founded by Dr. Giorgio Alberti, and has its headquarters in Switzerland, at the city of Locarno.

The Arts, Sciences and Technology Foundation - Observatory, with headquarters in the city of Trancoso, has as objective the promotion of projects with transdisciplinary, transcultural and transnational character.



Through the association between the Arts, Sciences and Technology Foundation - Observatory, the Alchimiarte and the city of Trancoso, it will be held, every year, the International Meeting of Art and Alchemy Plus Ultra, in Trancoso, under the direction of Giorgio Alberti and Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta.



In the first International Meeting of Art and Alchemy it will be present personalities from diverse countries, among philosophers and artists.