Lands End in Portugal

December 15, 2004

Northcoast copy

Provided and copyright by: Rick Stankiewicz
Summary authors & editors: Rick Stankiewicz

The above photo was taken on a trip to Portugal this past January and shows the Atlantic coast looking north from Cabo de Sao Vincente (Cape St. Vincent), Portugal’s “Lands End.” This is the southwest part of the country, and as seen here, it's a desolate tableland, stretching to the Atlantic Ocean. Note the striking flat tops on the promontories that reach out into the ocean.

This area was considered sacred to the Romans, who called it Promontorium Sacrum and thought that the Sun sank hissing into the waters just beyond each night. It also became a Christian shrine when the relics of the martyred St. Vincent arrived in the eighth century. This was the same area that Prince Henry the Navigator (Dom Henrique) was to have made his residence and set-up his famous School of Navigation in the early 1400s. The likes of Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan are thought to have both studied here.

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