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Photographer's Note

Olivença / Olivenza was a Portuguese town during most of its history. Since 200 years ago it is de facto under Spanish administration. The de jure sovereignty of the city is arguable; please read the note of the photo Olivença - Olivenza.
The most important monuments and architectural heritage of Olivença is from the Portuguese period. However, it seems that the Spaniards wished to remove some signs of that Portuguese heritage. I've found this façade with the old Portuguese royal coat of arms on top; clearly the Portuguese heraldic devices were erased from the shield of the coat of arms, with some difficulty, because photoshop doesn't apply to stone sculptures...
This is the façade of the chapel of the Convento das Clarissas / de Clarisas or Convento de São João de Deus / San Juan de Diós (16th century). After the Spanish conquest of Olivenza this building became occupied by the Carabineros and Guardia Civil.
See in the workshop #2 a detail of this erased coat of arms and a drawing of the 16th century coat of arms for comparison.
See also in the workshop #1 other stone coat of arms in Plaza de la Constitución, where it seems that the Portuguese heraldic devices were completely erased and substituted by the words of the Spanish name of the plaza.
I believe modern Spaniards wouldn't remove the cultural heritage, but two centuries ago the mindset was different.
Anyway, the Portuguese language was forbidden in Olivença until a few years ago (like any minority languages in Spain during the Franco dictatorship, until 1975). But even now I was slightly surprised to see that in Olivença the official tourist signs near the monuments are written only in Spanish and... English. Again, in little details, the Spanish authorities blank the cultural and historic heritage.
I put these Olivença pictures under the Spanish gallery because of the de facto situation and to facilitate the browsing and searching of Olivenza in the TrekEarth site.

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Additional Photos by Francisco Santos (xuaxo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4896 W: 319 N: 4862] (6854)
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