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the amazing city that rose from the ruins

Located on the south coast of Terceira Island, Angra do Heroísmo it is the historic capital of the Azores and also the seat of the diocese of Angra. Its streets, monuments and walls tell stories, keep treasures and make a visit to the archipelago a must.

Thanks to its geographic and atmospheric location, the city developed from the 15th century onwards and is associated with the Discoveries. It played a key role in the maritime epic and was an obligatory port of call for fleets from Africa and India.

Its urbanization is based on a Renaissance urban model, which inspired works and constructions such as the Cathedral, the Misericórdia Church or the fortresses.

Although it suffered from the 1980 earthquake, the city retains a unique architectural and landscape heritage, and its Historic Center was classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1983.

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Not to be missed in Angra do Heroísmo

the population of Angra do Heroísmo it appears mainly in the reign of D. Manuel, becoming a city in the reign of D. João III, in 1534. This status resulted from the fundamental role it played in the Carreira da Índia, as an Atlantic stopover.

With an enormous connection to the history of our country, Afonso VI of Portugal was detained here, in the premises of the Monte Brasil fortress, between 1669 and 1684. The city was also the seat of the Military Academy, from 1810 to 1832.

In recognition of the numerous services that the city provided to the country, the Decree of January 12, 1837 conferred on it the title of “very noble, loyal and ever constant city of Angra do Heroísmo”.

historic center

According to official data, the devastating 1980 earthquake took place at 3:42 pm (local time) on January 1, with an estimated six to seven dozen deaths and more than 400 injured.

The earthquake caused serious damage on Terceira Island and affected Graciosa and São Jorge, reaching a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale. It was also felt on the islands of Pico and Faial, resulting in a slip fracture, something typical in the history of earthquakes in the Azores Archipelago.

But three years later, Angra do Heroísmo was reborn from the rubble. The historic center was restored with care and know-how, offering visitors magnificent monuments that, together with its natural beauty and historical interest, make this city an unforgettable place.

Here, the houses painted in vibrant colors bring joy to the inhabitants, and not even the churches escape.

The largest non-religious festival, the Sanjoaninas, also takes place in the historic center. This party, which takes place in the last days of June, dates back to the 16th century and each year celebrates a different theme.

The Cathedral was heavily affected by the 1980 earthquake

Cathedral of Angra do Heroísmo

The Church of Santíssimo Salvador da Sé, also known as Sé de Angra do Heroísmo, is located in the historic center of Angra do Heroísmo and is the seat of the Bishopric of Angra, which encompasses the entire archipelago of the Azores.

It was rebuilt between 1570 and 1642, by order of Cardinal D. Henrique, with the expansion of the church of S. Salvador, built in 1486. ​​Part of the property was rebuilt (namely the towers, the facade and the roof) after the damage caused by the earthquake of 1980.

In this catastrophe, a vast artistic treasure was lost. However, in 1993, it began to have a large organ with three manual keyboards and a pedalboard located in the high choir and composed of 1,586 sound pipes.

It is one of the city’s main gems and is a must-visit.

Duke of Terceira Garden

This green space in the region is home to different types of vegetation, which transform it into an authentic botanical garden.

A lake surrounded by flowers and shrubs with geometric compositions, fountains and ponds with water lilies inhabited by frogs and fish, tropical and oriental trees, busts and statues, sidewalks in Portuguese pavement, tile panels, one and one bandstand, make your visit a must .

An almost perfect way to get to know the exuberance of the flora of the Azores.

Alto da Memória

Visiting card of the city, the Alto da Memória, or Outeiro da Memória, is an obelisk that honors the passage of King D. Pedro IV through Terceira Island, during the Portuguese Civil War, between 1828 and 1834.

Here, the army that would head to the mainland joined, disembarking on Mindelo beach. It was the beginning of the end of the civil war in Portugal and the short reign of D. Miguel as King of Portugal.

Located at the top of Jardim Duque da Terceira, the obelisk was erected on the site of Castelo dos Moinhos, the city’s first defense castle, built in 1474. A lesson in history.

Mount Brazil
Monte Brasil and its spectacular centenary fortress

Mount Brazil

This peninsula formed from the eruption of an underwater volcano on Terceira Island is much sought after for the breathtaking landscapes it offers.

Get ready for viewpoints with views over the city, the Angra bays, the Cabras islets, the Serra de Santa Bárbara and the southeast and southwest coasts of Terceira.

This volcano originated in the sea and its eruption created a creek, giving rise to the city of Angra do Heroísmo.

On Monte Brasil is located the Castelo de S. João Baptista, one of the largest and most important fortresses in the Philippines, built in our country at the end of the 16th century.

This location is ideal for a relaxing walk after exploring the city, along the pedestrian path signposted and approved by the Regional Directorate of Tourism.

On your next trip to the Azores, be sure to explore the thousand and one charms of Angra do Heroísmo, where history, natural beauty and good cuisine will make you disconnect from reality.

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