Chris O'Dell

Photograph Archive

Mertola, Portugal


Mertola is a little town in southern Portugal, near the border with Spain.  Connected by a serpentine river to the Atlantic, it was an important port in the time of Roman occupation, shipping grain and food crops to Rome and North Africa.  Layer upon layer of history rise above one another in this small, quiet town.  Over the foundations of Roman villas lie the remnants of the Islamic colonisation of this part of Europe, and over them the remains of the Crusaders' fortifications take us back to the time of the battle of Lepanto, the last great conflict between Christianity and the  Ottomans.
The old town is a network of twisting narrow streets like this one, climbing higher and higher until they converge on the ancient mosque, now a Cathoilc church, and the Crusader Fortress that dominates the skyline.  Dazzling white walls and curling olive trees shelter cool high ceilinged homes, elegantly funrnished, and in many cases very reminiscent of the Arab  style of long ago.

Every step you take in this little town brings a new glimpse of history, and fortunately the community has celebrated their complex past by creating a series of beautiful small museums to  guide the visitor through times past.
This photograph was taken on a camera adapted to be sensitive to infra-red light.

Camera: Canon G9 adapted to infra red.

Exhibition prints of this and all other photographs on this site are available size A2 on Permajet Distinction Fine Art paper 325gsm price €100 including packing and posrtage to all parts of the world.  Send email here with title of image and I will invoice you via PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account, you can pay with major credit/debit cards).

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