elvas: forte da graça

Portugal, Elvas, Forte da Graça

Elvas not only boasts a massive wall around the entire city that dates from the great age of fortress construction in the 1700s, but the nearby Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça also impresses from its commanding location. As a modified 400-meter mountain, the fortress could easily defend Elvas & see any invasion force coming from Spain next door. Most of the fort sits submerged into the mountaintop, making this a fantastic feat of engineering.

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sevilla: heliópolis

España, Spain, Andalucía, Sevilla, Heliópolis

…As with all social housing projects, a few design types were repeated over & over for rapid construction. We identified four distinct house designs during our walk, but there may be more. All consist of two levels with a fenced entrance, room for a small garden, a terrace & often a small tower. Naturally owners have modified original designs since 1929, but it’s fun to walk around & see how things have changed. One thing that remains the same is how peaceful, cute & charming this neighborhood is…

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lisboa: palácio galveias

Portugal, Lisboa, Campo Pequeno, Palácio Galveias

I practically grew up in our local branch of the public library in Memphis. I think my mom figured out it was free child care, & I could spend hours going through the stacks without ever noticing the time. So when I heard the Lisbon city government spent 2.5 million € to fix up this public library, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

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sevilla: san luis de los franceses

España, Spain, Sevilla, Jesuit, San Luis de los Franceses, Baroque, capilla doméstica

Sevilla —as any city with a 2,000-year history— has seen its share of ups & downs. But one of its most prosperous periods came after the discovery of the Americas in 1492. Possessing an inland location on a river navigable all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, Sevilla became the heart of all trade for the Spanish empire. Wealth & power concentrated in a walled city rich with tax income & bursting with new products as well as new ideas… even for Catholicism.

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