Sentry box in Alcatraz

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States.
Often referred to as “The Rock” or simply “Traz”, the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of American Indians from San Francisco, who were part of a wave of Indian activism across the nation, with public protests through the 1970s. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

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Cruceiro In Galicia

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Cruceiro (stone crucifix) in Combarro, Galicia, Spain. 

Cruceiros (stone crosses) are placed at crossroads or near chapels, churches and cemeteries. Castelao said that a stone cross is a “pardon from heaven”, because according to the great Galician writer, stone crosses are built to obtain forgiveness for a sin. Since in Galicia there are around 12,000 stone crosses, our flaws must be many. But it is also said that the stone crosses protect travellers, so for those who journey through these lands their protection is guaranteed. 

Combarro is an unmatched example of Galician folk architecture and it’s considered one of the best preserved villages in Galicia. Its remarkable urban cluster was declared set of artistic interest due to its unique charm. It feels like stepping into a magical and genuine Galician folk architecture village. A traditional fishing village where it seems time has stopped and one of the most beautiful and charming of the Galician coast. 

Its name come from comb which means hollow, valley, camber of the coast. The village is placed on a crescent-shaped bedrock cambered in its ends by the beaches of Padron and the now missing beach of Chousa. 
The old town was built to adapt to the lifestyle of its residents: sailors and farmers. The traveler can contemplate how its more than 30 granaries are aligned on the granite base that shapes the coast and reach the shoreline. 
It is in the wall surrounding the old town where these granaries are embedded. Besides this, and due to its singular mix of farming and fishing activities, in Combarro these granaries are used as dryer places for anchovies, sardines and other kind of fish typical of the R�a. That is why these granaries built by the sea are so exceptional in comparison with those typical Galician granaries built to save farmer’s crops. Also, because of the Galician belief of protection, we can find in Combarro many peculiar architectural elements called ‘cruceiros’, located in squares and crossroads.

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Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse. San Francisco, California. 1909.

Alcatraz Island proved to be a huge obstacle in the busy shipping channel of San Francisco Bay. So much so, that the U.S. Government allocated money to construct a lighthouse on the island. The first tower was constructed in 1852, but the third-order Fresnel lens wouldn’t arrive until 1854. This made it the first lighthouse to be built on the West Coast. This tower would serve until 1906 when it was damaged beyond repair in the 1906 earthquake.

A new tower design was put forth after the earthquake. The new tower would be made out of reinforced concrete and would stand 84′ tall. This would be tall enough to tower above the military prison that was built on the island. In 1934, the military prison was upgraded to a maximum security federal penitentiary. Even though the lighthouse keeper was on the outside of the prison walls, they weren’t entirely safe. A riot broke out in 1946 in which many guards and inmates were killed, however, the lighthouse keepers were fine. The station was automated in 1963 right around the same time as the prison closed.

The tower is still an active aid to navigation and can be spotted from almost any point around San Francisco, Oakland, and the Marin Headlands. The tower is all that remains of the old station. The lighthouse keeper’s dwelling was destroyed by fire in 1969 by Native American protesters.

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