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Photographer's Note

Well knock me down with a feather! You'll never guess what I discovered today - a big cardbooard box full of boxes of colour slides which I had taken many, many years ago!

So, just to start (!), this is a picture which I took in July, 1965 when, at the age of 17, I went on a two week cruise which had been organised by my school - and we visited France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. All for the princely sum of £40, though that was a lot of money in those days. I'm sure that I still owe my parents for most of that!

I took this picture on Kodachrome colour slide film with my little secondhand Voigtländer Vito B camera which I had bought a couple of years previously for £12. I still have it to this day and it still works!

This is Belém Tower (or Torre de Belém) which stands on a very small island just off the north shore of the River Tagus at Lisbon.

In the late 15th century, King John II of Portugal had designed a defence system for the mouth of the Tagus that depended on the Fortresses of Cascais and São Sebastião (or Torre Velho) in Caparica on the south side of the river. These fortresses did not completely cover the mouth of the river and further protection was required. It was King Manuel I of Portugal, in the early 16th Century, who revisited the idea, ordering the construction of a military fortification on the northern margin of the Tagus, around the beach in Belém. In 1519, the build had concluded (just five years before Manuel's death), and Gaspar de Paiva was temporarily stationed to command the fortress. The commission became permanent on 15 September 1521, when Gaspar de Paiva was appointed the first Captain-General, or alcalde, and who named the fort to the invocation of the city's patron saint, naming the fortress the "Castle of São Vicente" (Castelo de São Vicente de Belém).

Belém Tower saw active service during Portugal's invasion in 1580 by the Spanish fleet and further service during the French invasion of Lisbon during the Peninsular War (1807 - 1814).

In the 1990s, the property was transferred into the Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico and a full restoration was completed. In 1993 it was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and it was also included, on 7 July 2007, in the registry of the "Seven Wonders of Portugal".

In this picture you can also see, at far left, the huge "Christ the King" statue ("Cristo Rei"), a Catholic monument and shrine, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. It lies almost 5 kilometeres distant on the south bank of the River Tagus.

holmertz, jjcordier, Royaldevon, ktanska, macjake, jcpix, mkamionka has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1197 W: 387 N: 4274] (17250)
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