As an heritage dating back centuries and of crucial reminiscence of diocese life, Portuguese cathedrals play a fundamental role in the interaction between the religious, cultural and tourist centres of cities. With a particular importance in city growth and urban structure, cathedrals stand as key heritage points, calling out to be shared and enjoyed. While, in some cases, their original vocation, as Episcopal headquarters, places of learning and pastoral activity might have become faded with time, they continue, undoubtedly, as living witnesses of the collective memory and faith of the people who raised them. Embodying a dedication to their valorisation and an opportunity to place cathedrals at everyone’s disposal, the “Route of the Cathedrals” project emerged in 2009, under the agreement of cooperation signed between the Portuguese State and the Catholic Church.
Fostering concerted action around these monuments, amongst temples used for Catholic worship with the canonical status of Cathedral, or Co-cathedral, as well as the official seat of the bishop in the ancient Episcopal Sees of Elvas and Silves, the “Route of the Cathedrals” intends, apart from its inherent material intervention, to place Portuguese cathedrals within a cultural context, with a view to encouraging their greater enjoyment and understanding. In this strict sense, the project constitutes a unique opportunity for the rehabilitation and sustainable development not only of the buildings themselves, but also of the communities and historic centres to which they belong. It is in this perspective that the present issue of postage stamps arises, an initiative aimed at promoting an interlinked understanding of Portuguese cathedrals. Fostering their discovery as a key collection of heritage, in the spirit of those presiding over the ambitions of this project, the cathedrals are highlighted as a coherent and profoundly indentifying whole, closely interwoven with the priceless cultural and artistic values that make each one so very unique.
Issue Date: 18.05.2012
Designer: Atelier Acácio Santos / Helder Soares
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm
Values: 10 stamps value 3.20