Tavira’s Enigmatic Anchor Graveyard, Portugal

(Image: Johan Van Moorhem, reproduced with permission)

To date Urban Ghosts has featured a variety of vehicle graveyards – from planes, trains and ships to other rusty metal memorabilia.  But Cemitério das Âncoras, meaning the Anchor Graveyard, on Ilha de Tavira in the Algarve region of Portugal, must be one of the most unique and poignant memorials around.

(Image: Johan Van Moorhem, reproduced with permission)

Rusting silently in the sand along the sweeping Atlantic coastline, the numerous anchors making up the graveyard were once used as weights for heavy fishing nets – a technique reportedly devised by the Phoenicians.  The nearby town of Tavira was once a hub for tuna fishing in the Algarve, but when fish stocks became depleted the industry – and a major local livelihood – collapsed.

(Image: Johan Van Moorhem, reproduced with permission)

The anchors are now a lasting memorial to the former tuna fishing industry based out of the town of Tavira, and the fishermen who risked the unforgiving Atlantic waters to bring in the catch.  Lonely and evocative in the sunlight, the Anchor Graveyard is a memorial not only to the local fishing industry, but to the end of an era and the passing of an epoch.

Related Articles:
The Fisherman’s Chapel and Maritime Myth
The Isolated Fishing Village of Low Newton by the Sea
Stuck Between the Superpowers: The Abandoned Eskimo Village of Naukan

 
 
 

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