May 21, 2014

1084 SPAIN (Galicia) - Tower of Hercules (UNESCO WHS)

Located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf (the Portus Magnus Artabrorum of the classical geographers) on the Atlantic Ocean, A Coruña served as political capital of the Kingdom of Galicia from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and as a regional administrative centre between 1833 and 1982, before being replaced by Santiago de Compostela. The city is the site of the Roman Tower of Hercules, a lighthouse which has been in continuous operation since possibly the 2nd century AD.

According to a myth, the hero Hercules slew the giant tyrant Geryon after three days and three nights of continuous battle. Hercules then buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city be built on the site. The lighthouse atop a skull and crossbones representing the buried head of Hercules' slain enemy appears in the coat-of-arms of the city. The Tower, built on a 57m high rock, rises a further 55m, of which 34m correspond to the Roman masonry and 21m to the restoration directed by architect Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century, who augmented the Roman core with two octagonal forms.

Immediately adjacent to the base of the Tower, is a small rectangular Roman building. At its base is preserved the cornerstone with an inscription permitting the original lighthouse tower to be ascribed to the architect Gaius Sevius Lupus, from Aeminium (present-day Coimbra, Portugal) in the former province of Lusitania, as an offering dedicated to Mars. Under the name of Farum Brigantium, the Tower was probably erected in the 1st century CE, at the latest in the reign of Trajan (98-117).

About the stamps
The stamp is one of the two issued on November 6, 2013, to celebrate Christmas and New Year. The first stamp depicts a traditional nativity scene. Happy New Year! is the message featuring in the second Christmas stamp which is illustrated with the clock from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid and the traditional twelve grapes (it's on the postcard).

Tower of Hercules - Wikipedia
Tower of Hercules - UNESCO  official website

Sender: Alba / Belessita (postcrossing) ES-290883
Sent from near A Coruña (Galicia / Spain), on 29.04.2014
Photo: Alejandro Badia

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