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Photographer's Note

The Cidadela de Cascais (Cascais fort) stands high above the Cascais Marina and the small fishing harbour, with solid imposing walls encircling the entire complex. The Cidadela de Cascais has been recently transformd in an exclusive hotel, a cultural and conference centre and improving the presidential residence.

The solid walls of Cidadela de Cascais has only had a brief history but the location of the fort has been a significant defensive position since the 15th century. The vantage point of the Cidadela de Cascais both out across the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the River Tejo was clear to king John II.

He instructed that a defensive tower be constructed and the Santo Antonio Tower was completed in 1490. The Santo Antonio Tower was a key defensive position and soldiers were permanently stationed at the tower to protect from seaward invasion. The tower was solely built for the defence of Lisbon but a thriving fishing community grow around the protection that the tower provided from pirates and raiding parties.

The large fishing community of Cascais was the main industry of the area right up until the dawn of tourism. The Santo Antonio Tower proved inadequate to prevent Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1580 and in the bay below the Santo Antonio Tower’s vantage point, the Duke of Alba claimed Portugal for Spain.

Under the Spanish king Philip II a great defensive program was devised to protect the Tejo Estuary and the small defensive position was greatly extended to include a garrison, defensive walls and the Fortalexa Nossa Sehora da Luz, Mary of the Light Stronghold. The Fortaleza da Luz (the strongholds shortened common name) was painted ochre, a light yellow/brown colour, to make the fort difficult to identify from a distance on the ocean.
The Cidadela de Cascais did not escape the destruction of the 1755 earth quake and the resulting tsunami, with both the Fortaleza da Luz and the Santo Antonio Tower’s being severely damaged. During the rebuilding of the Cidadela de Cascais the height of the tower was lowered and the perimeter wall strengthened. During the peninsular war part of the Napoleonic wars the Cidadela de Cascais was involved in numerous battles against the French. In the 19th century Cascais became popular with the Portuguese royal family and King Luis terminated the military occupation and converted the Cidadela de Cascais into a lavish summer palace.

This tradition of the Cidadela de Cascais being used as the summer retreat of the ruling president has continued to the present day. The Cidadela de Cascais was the first area of Portugal to have outside street lighting which was installed in 28th September 1878.

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Additional Photos by kik ko (kiks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1400 W: 165 N: 1473] (11749)
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