Luz in the 1940s?

Let me say up front that I do not have a date for the photo you are about to see. I can only say it appears to be consistent with Luz in the 1940s.

Shall we start with the obvious bits first? All of the land to closer to the photo taker than the church and the Fortaleza turned into a chunk of the Ocean Club plus other developments decades later, so the photo is hardly recent.

The promenade now has palm trees. Those in the photo are deciduous trees.

That big hilly lump in the centre of the photo still exists, although it looks like it has been much reduced in size.

It is possible to line up the church, the Fortaleza, the promenade, and that hill to pinpoint where the photo was taken. I am confident I can identify the photographer’s spot. But what I cannot do is find either of the two buildings in the foreground. They are either gone or heavily modified.

There are 2 further points for your attention.

There is what I would call a station wagon, on the left hand side of the photo, about half-way down. This is a poor match for 1930s station wagons. It happens to be a good match for 1940s station wagons, which is why I think this is 1940s or later. Here’s a 1940 Plymouth De Luxe.

In the bottom right-hand corner of the photo is a person who appears to be staring up at the photo-taker at the moment the shutter was clicked. The watcher and the watched. From the shadows, it is possible to tell the sun was around the mid-day point, and it was spring or autumn (not summer or winter). But I cannot get a year from the shadows.

PS For a bonus, can you see what looks like 2 people having a stroll on the beach?


2 thoughts on “Luz in the 1940s?

  1. Interesting, thank you for publishing that photograph. Have you an idea about which trees were planted on the promenade ? (Bitter) orange trees ?

  2. Sorry, I have no idea. Though orange trees does sound reasonable.

    The photos I have, in the main, are undated or very loosely dated. The trees seem to disappear and reappear, so I suspect some of the attributed dates are plainly wrong.

    Apart from the Madeleine angle, I am simply interested in how Luz developed over time.

    May I ask if you have visited Luz? Having lived here for years, I can detect small clues in the photos that help me to relate to the current layout, but I would have thought this was very tough going for someone who hasn’t.

    When I have finished on the old Luz photos, I have a couple of interesting maps. One shows that at some point in time, Portugal ‘owned’ a sizable chunk of Andalucía. Oh, and a sizeable chunk of the USA.

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