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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bartolomeu Dias Angra Das Voltas



  • Born: c. 1450
  • Birthplace:
  • Died: May 1500
  • Best Known As: Portuguese discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope
  • 25 Dec 1487 Portuguese seafarer Bartolomeu Dias enters the wide bay now known as Lüderitz Bay after sailing for three weeks along the arid Namib coast of south west Africa (now Namibia).
15c Stamp - All the hazards of ocean travelling in sailing ships are symbolized by the mythical sea-monster of the southern seas. According to legend, many ships on southern expeditions were pulled to the seabed by this monster. A 1558 Swiss engraving of the sea serpent allegedly seen by Archbishop Olaus Magnus was used as a model for the stamp design. The compass is of Portuguese design and the colours of the stamp are typical of Portuguese maps of the period.

20c Stamp : Bartolomeu Dias departed from the mouth of Tagus early in 1487 with a dual command from King Joao II of Portugal with the mandate to contact the mythical Prester John, and to find a route round Africa to the Spice-rich East.
After leaving this supply ship in Baia dos Tigres (Present day Angola) Dias continued south with two 100-ton caravels.
Towards the end of December he took shelter from a violent storm for a couple of days in a bay he called Angra das Voltas (now Luderitz Bay in Namibia). He eventually reached the present Kwaaihoek, east of Port Elizabeth (South Africa) where he was forced to turn back.

25c Stamp: A caravel lies at anchor while repair work is being done and supplies taken aboard.

30c Stamp : On the return voyage Dias again went ashore at Angra das Voltas. To mark the occasion he erected a limestone cross (padrao) on 25 July 1488. (The limestone came from quarries near Lisbon)
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