Major Figures of Portuguese History and Culture on Stamps

Portugal has issued a set of stamps dedicated to the major figures of the Portuguese history and culture. The stamps honor Francisco Keil do Amaral; Alexandre Herculano; Fernao Mendes Pinto and Gomes Eanes de Azurara.

Francisco Keil do Amaral - an architect, born in Lisbon - left ineffaceable marks on the city. Among his projects are the Monsanto Park, the Campo Grande Park and the Eduard VII Park, three of the city's emblematic green spaces. He also designed the Lisbon Airport building, (inaugurated in 1943), and the Lisbon International Trade Fair Pavilion (1956), currently the Lisbon Congress Centre which is portrayed on the stamp.

As a historian, Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho Araujo introduced a new notion of History based more on the study of the institutions rather than of the individuals. He was the first theoriser and usher of Romantism in Portugal and the initiator of Portuguese historic novels with the publication of The Fool (O Bobo), in 1843, Eurico the Priest (Eurico, o Presbitero), the following year, and The Cistercian Monk (O Monge de Cister), in 1848. His work of reference, however is the History of Portugal (Historia de Portugal), published between 1846-1853, of which only four volumes were published and which was the starting point of a historical research, from the origins of monarchy to King Dom Afonso III. Because of his controversial and doctrinal work he is also considered the most legitimate representative of the juridical, economical and social theory of Liberalism. Further to being a poet, he reformed Portuguese theatre together with Almeida Garrett.

Fernao Mendes Pinto is the author of The Travels of Mendes Pinto (Peregrinacao), one of the most interesting travel books in world literature. He was one of the first Europeans to reach Japan.

Gomes Eanes de Azurara was a chief keeper of the Portuguese national archive, Torre do Tombo. He is the author of the Chronicle of the Capture of Ceuta, 1451 and Chronicle of the Feats of Guinea, 1453, as well as of the Book of the Feats of Prince Henry, of the Chronicle of Pedro de Meneses and of the Chronicle of Dom Duarte de Meneses.

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