Photographer's Note

Here it is another oldie, from 1984.

It was shot on the top of the tower of the castle of Olivena (Olivenza to the Spanish).

It has a special meaning to me, as it is part of one of the rare color films I shot in that time (I did only B&W) and it was nice to rediscover it after so many years almost forgotten.

Although the photo doesn't pretend to show any "history" or "story", for those who maybe interested, Olivena is a nice little town South of Badajoz, which is under Spanish rule since the early 1800's that the Portuguese claim that it should still be Portuguese, as it was from the early 1200's to the early 1800's.

A kind of Gibraltar "up side down". As Gibraltar, it was occupied during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Peninsular Wars and it was never surrendered back. Now the interesting thing is that Gibraltar was kept by the winners of the war and Olivena stayed with the loosers.

I think that the vast majority of Portuguese and Spanish people don't care much about these facts now and diplomatic pressures ended several decades ago, although the Spanish rule was never oficially recognised by Portugal and there are a couple of international treaties of the 19th century that state that it is a Portuguese land. Recently there were some discussions that made their way to the headlines of TV, radio and newspapers because of the construction of a bridge across the river Guadiana, which is the "de facto" border. Some claimed that it was an illegal construction as it couldn't be an international bridge because Portugal oficially claims the sovereignty on both sides of the river.

I doubt that you find any "Oliventino" (someone who was born in Olivena) that wants to be Portuguese, but it's interesting to see how they cherish their Portuguese ancestry and Portuguese people. And how it still it's perceivable a kind of "Alentejo" mood (Alentejo is the Portuguese region across the border) not only in architecture but also in the accent of the voices of the eldests, which sounds like Castellano/Spanish with Alentejano accent.

For what I remember, the main old monuments date from the 13th century (namely the castle on the photo) and 15th and 16th century, having one or two nice examples of "Manuelino", a portuguese form of late Gothic inspired by the nautic motifs of the Discoveries.

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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