Portuguese Colonial Post OfficeBud's Big Blue
Lourenco Marques -- since 1976 known as Maputo, Mozambique -- was originally named for the Portuguese sailor who landed there in 1544. Today it may be described as diverse and delightful but, in the same breath, as drab and dilapidated. No one really knows what Maputo means. The poet Abhay K recently wrote “It is just … a river that lends its name to the city of acacias, jacarandas and flames of lush tropical gardens, the proverbial pearl of the Indian Ocean … dotted with colonial palaces and Stalinist boxes” (1)
Neoclassical Railway Station
Much of Lourenco Marques’ old architecture still remains -- some of it late gothic, much of it Portuguese colonial or neoclassical, all of it tattered but charming. Maputo has built alongside its historic buildings stunning new Art Deco, Brutalist, and Modernist structures -- now similarly tattered but, except for the communist era concrete boxes, charming.
Typical 1970s structure
I spent a week in Lourenco Marques/Maputo a while back visiting some of its architectural wonders. There are many, but none appear on the classic era stamps issued by Portugal. Only a few show up on modern Mozambique stamps. Too bad. A missed opportunity.
Igreja de Santo Antonio de PolanaI, aka the lemon squeezer church
Scott catalogs list more stamps for Lourenco Marques than for any other Mozambique province, except for the areas served by the Nyassa and Mozambique chartered Royal Companies. As the result, more stamps appear on the supplement pages below than in the scans for, say, Quelimane, Inhambane, Zambesia, Tete or tiny Kionga. A close look at the cancellations shows that Lourenco Marques stamps were sometimes used in other provinces.
(1) Abhay K. Capitals, a Poetry Anthology. New Delhi: Bloomsbury, 2017.
Census: 46 in BB spaces, 1 tip-in, 77 on supplement pages.
Lourenco Marques (Named after the Portuguese navigator and explorer) was part of the Portuguese East Africa Colony (Mozambique Colony), and is located in southeast Africa in the southern part of Mozambique.
The reality was that, within the Mozambique Colony, settlements were scattered, and these outposts by necessity had their own stamps. One can find issues for Lourenco Marques (1895), Inhambane (1895), Zambezia (1894), Quelimane (1913), Tete (1913), Mozambique Company (1892), Nyassa Company (1898), and Mozambique (1877) for the Portuguese East Africa lands. Eventually, the stamps of Mozambique were exclusively used: for Lourenco Marques- in 1920.
Lourenco Marques Blog Post & BB Checklist