Portugal on stamps

This issue addresses the theme set by CEPT through three legends of the Portuguese mainland and islands.

Legend of Machico: Robert Machim and Anne d'ArfetAccording to a romantic legend, the municipality of Machico, on Madeira island, is named after the supposedly discoverer of Madeira, Englishman Robert Machim. He eloped with Anne d’Arfet due to his lower social standing, and their ship was blown by a storm towards Madeira. Anne dies of exhaustion and Robert dies soon after.

Legend of the Island of the Seven CitiesThe name of the parish of Sete Cidades, in the Azores, stems from the legend of the Island of the Seven Cities, which was placed by some Middle Age cartographers near the Azores. According to the legend, in the 8th century, seven Visigothic Christian bishops, led by the bishop of Porto, sailed with their parishioners westward on the Atlantic Ocean to escape the Arab conquerors. They stumbled upon an island and erected seven settlements, burning their ships to sever links to the now Muslim-dominated homeland.

Tales of Enchanted Moorish Girls and TreasuresEnchanted Moorish girls are supernatural beings that feature in many Portuguese and Galician fairy tales, sometimes watching over hidden treasures, which they will give to anyone breaking their spell.



The stamps were designed by Celeste Maia (mainland and Madeira) and Nélia Caixinha (Azores), lithographed by Litografia Maia on enamelled paper sheets of 10×5 mainland stamps and 5×10 island stamps, with perforation 12×12½, and circulated from 5 May 1997 to 30 September 2001.

Stamp Print run Afinsa Gibbons Michel Scott Yvert
mainland 500,000 2413 2554 2183 2161
Madeira 500,000 2415 315 191 195 198
Azores 500,000 2414 564 466 446 456
Azores sheet 80,000 180 MS565 17

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