Monday, 30 August 2010


Portugal has a distinguished maritime history: Portuguese sailors launched and led the European age of discovery, and Portuguese ships “discovered” Brazil in 1500. It's not surprising that lighthouses have played an important role in Portuguese culture, and that they are treasured national monuments today. Thank you, José for these beautiful postcards to my collection.
Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) is a cape which forms the westernmost point of both mainland Portugal and mainland Europe. The cape is in the Portuguese municipality of Sintra, west of Lisbon district. Cabo da Roca Lighthouse was first lit in 1772 atop a spectacular cliff that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean to approximately 140 metres above sea level. The 22 m (72 ft) square stone tower rises from a 1-story keeper's complex with its lantern painted red. In 1997 the town council of Sintra erected a plaque at the lighthouse that reads in part, "Cabo da Roca: Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa" (Here ends the land and begins the sea), a line from the famous 16th century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões.
Cascais is a coastal town, a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital, located 20 kilometers west of Lisbon. The former fishing village is nowadays, a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. The Santa Marta Lighthouse is located on the south point of land in Cascais, adjacent to a large marina. Built in 1868, it is a 20 m (66 ft) square masonry tower, covered with tiles, painted with blue and white horizontal bands and a red lantern. Adjacent to the lighthouse are the ruins of the 17th century Forte de Santa Marta. Located on the site of the fortress, the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum preserves the historic lighthouse and is the first museum dedicated to the lighthouses of the Portuguese coast.

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