Saturday, September 15, 2012

Decay (LXVIII)


The British Eastern Telegraph Company arrived in Portugal to complete the telegraph lines between England and India. It purchased a property at Carcavelos, which was thought an ideal location being close to the ocean and to Lisbon. The Cable project reached completion in 1870.
In 1932, the beautiful palace in the property (1750's) was transformed into a school for the British children.
 
When World War Two broke out many people fled to Portugal, the majority of whom were in transit waiting to go to America. A direct result of this was that the school housed 17 different nationalities, making it a truly international school. The strategic placement of the Cable & Wireless Company meant that many British Armed Forces messages were being relayed through Carcavelos. It was just a matter of time until German spies started to decode messages transmitted from Carcavelos to England. Using an old building just outside the company grounds as a base, they tunneled to the cables and intercepted the signals leaving Carcavelos. (St. Julian's School)
 
I believe this was the building used by the Germans.

17 comments:

Lowell said...

There's a novel here just waiting to be written! Lots of WWII novels feature Portugal. Which means lots of shady dealings were going on in Portugal! :-)

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

Amazing history in that building, it's hard to imagine it's vacant.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

When you know the story to a building, it is even more appreciative of its character !

Babzy said...

Very interesting story !

TexWisGirl said...

wow. such history.

Sylvia K said...

Amazing history indeed! I think Lowell is right, a novel waiting to be written! I do hope the building is saved! Wonderful, interesting capture for the day, JM, as always!

Sharon said...

I could imagine a movie being made about this story.

Lois said...

If this building could talk, I'm sure it would have some interesting stories to tell!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

This shell of a building has quite a history JM, judging by the graffiti I think your German theory may be correct.

Kay said...

Fascinating history. It's too bad the building is going to ruin.

Dina said...

Such different times those were.

Jack said...

The second world war was such a fascinating one, with all sorts of intrigue. I don't know much of Portugal's role in it.

Bob Crowe said...

That's quite a story. I hope the building's present condition does not truly reflect the current zeitgeist.

Joan Elizabeth said...

We so often wonder about the history of abandoned buildings it is great to have the story. That palm rescues the image from being totally forlorn.

VP said...

A very interesting imagr and story!

Carola said...

Zeitgeist.com (the writing on the building) is a video.

La Principessa Errante said...

Fascinating story, interesting choice of building for that particular graffiti message.