Unesco World Heritage Town of Elvas
Since the Muslim occupation of Ialbax by king Sancho II in 1230 and until its was promoted to city in 1513, the development of Elvas was solid, favoured for its relevant geographical position which over the centuries gave it an outstanding military preponderance, reflected in the construction of fortification lines and military buildings. In the second half of the fourteenth century, another fortification was added to the two Muslim walls, with 11 gates and 22 towers, which became forever represented in the drawings of Duarte de Armas.
Its location in the province of Alentejo, facing the city of Badajoz on the other side of the border, was a determining factor in its role of defending the land border of the Portuguese territory since the founding of the nation. During the sixteenth century we witnessed the creation of fortifications for defending the maritime border, with the development of naval artillery.
This scenario changed with the Restoration War, when the land fortification bastion – mainly dedicated to the protection of the border – gained prominence. The border towns thus witnessed several changes to their urban physiognomy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Elvas was no exception so much so that it is within this context that the building of its fortification bastion, with influences from the Dutch College of Fortification, should be interpreted.
These modern fortifications and military structures represented the modernization of the country compared to a Europe that was becoming consolidated in terms of political structure. Considering the new defensive situation, the city of Elvas was enriched with human and material resources for its effective defence, becoming a true border military city, fully autonomous in terms of logistics, where military and civil life blended. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Elvas became a war arena of great magnitude, with a variety of barracks, bunkers, bases (provisions warehouse), depot (artillery warehouse), military hospital, military base, house of the governor and war council, reflecting the evolution and consolidation of the army.
The seventeenth-century walls that surround the Historic Centre are a notable worldwide example of the First Dutch method of fortification which, along with the Forts of Santa Luzia, Graça, São Pedro, São Mamede, São Domingos and Piedade, and the Amoreira Aqueduct, were worldwide recognized and valued on June 30th, 2012, being classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
The set of bastion fortifications of Elvas is the world’s largest entrenched camp of land bastion fortifications with a dry moat, for the sum of the internal areas of its fortifications, for the total perimeter of covered paths, for the total number of bastions and half-bastions of the compounds and for the unusual integrity, good condition and authenticity of its materials and construction techniques, thus representing a significant moment in human history in the field of Military Architecture and History.
Issue Date: 30.07.2014 Designer: AF Atelier Printer: INCM Process: Offset Colours: 4 Colours Size: 40 x 30.6 mm Values: €0.42, €0.50, €0.72, €0.80
Gardens of Portugal
Landscape Architecture is a very subtle art with a very elaborate technique, based on a wide range of sciences. One can maybe explain this relationship between Art, Science and Technique, if compared to listening to a Beethoven sonata live. In the sonata, the art is in the artistic interpretation of the song, the piano is the technique, and the mechanism of the piano is the result of a construction that involves much scientific knowledge. […] Landscape Architecture is the art of designing the environment where man lives.
As such, it belongs to the Fine Arts and is sister to Architecture, as both draw the space where man lives. But if on the one hand they share this same objective, on the other hand they run in opposite directions because Architecture works with geometry, with inert materials and is three-dimensional, while Landscape Architecture works with space and living materials and is dynamic and four dimensional. This is perhaps why Landscape Architecture, the most recent of arts, is really the Art of our time, for I believe that the recognition of Time as a dimension in which we live has never been as edgy and as truly felt as it is today.
But it is only a matter of time, because Music is also an Art in which time is important, but there is a big difference between them. Music is commanded by Man, while Landscape Architecture isn’t; we, Landscape Architects, only try to induce and persuade Nature to cooperate with us and that’s why it used to be called ars cooperative naturae». This text was written in 1966 by Professor Caldeira Cabral1 and describes, with great insight, the profession of designing and creating gardens and parks, known as Landscape Architecture. Caldeira Cabral was the father of the profession, for in 1942 he created the first course at the ISA (Higher Institute of Agronomy).
As a teacher and continuer of such teachings in ISA, I selected 75 of the 600 or so Portuguese gardens and parks, both private and public, that have a touch of the Portuguese culture and deserve to be known. Of these 75, eight were chosen for the philatelic collection, following geographic criteria – of a maximum representation of the various landscapes that the country has to offer -, of time – comprising several centuries – and also of multiple sources – the royal house, nobility, clergy, a university and cultured bourgeoisie.
The following were therefore chosen: the “Jardins do Palácio da Fronteira” (Gardens of the Fronteira Palace), of the Lisbon nobility of the seventeenth century; the “Jardins do Palácio de Queluz” (gardens of the Queluz Palace) of the Royal House of the eighteenth century; the “Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra” (Botanical Garden of the Coimbra University) of the eighteenth century; the “Cerca do Mosteiro de Tibães” (Enclosure of the Tibães Monastery) of the clergy in the north, with interventions made in the eighteenth century; the “Parque Terra Nostra” (Terra Nostra Park), especially the intervention made in the nineteenth century by the gentry of the Azores; the gardens of the “Chalet da Condessa” (Countess’ Chalet) in Sintra, built in the nineteenth century, with strong links to the royal house; the “Quinta do Palheiro Ferreira” (Palheiro Ferreira Estate), also from the nineteenth century, of the nobility of Madeira; and finally, the only choice of the twentieth century, the “Parque de Serralves” (Serralves Park), created among the high bourgeoisie of Porto in the middle of the last century.
These eight gardens are a selection that represents quite well the Gardens of Portugal, which manage with diversity and, as announced by Caldeira Cabral tell us how over time and throughout our history, technique and science have come together with Nature to create remarkable works of art.
Issue Date: 26.06.2014 Designer: AF Atelier Printer: INCM Process: Offset Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 40 x 30.6 mm Values: €0.42, €0.50, €0.62, €0.72, €0.80