The motto “Very Noble, Loyal and Always Constant” bestowed upon the city of Angra do Heroísmo highlights the important role that this city has played throughout the History of Portugal. The importance of the bay of Angra, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the importance of the city in the political, economic and religious landscape of the Azores are portrayed in the urban layout of this city.
From the Alto da Memória or from the Monte Brasil viewpoint, we can see the historic center of Angra do Heroísmo stretching along streets, alleys, churches, palaces, manor houses, monuments, squares and gardens that committed generations have preserved and maintained until the present day and that UNESCO recognized in 1983 by listing the Historic Center of Angra do Heroísmo as a World Heritage Site.
The imposing Fortaleza de São João Baptista [Fortress of St. John the Baptist], built some 400 years ago in the city of Angra do Heroísmo, is a unique building when it comes to the military architecture of the Azores and it rises to defend the identity of the city. Palaces, churches, convents and museums are some of the places worth a visit. It’s your choice!
The so-called Architecture or House of the Ramo Grande is what stands out in the municipality of Praia da Vitória. These are rural manor houses that feature both the use of large slabs of stone and elaborate stonework.
In several places of the island, we can find small chapels known as “impérios” [literally, empires], which showcase an elaborate architectural design and brightly colored facades, are part of the island’s identity and deserve a closer look.
The island of Terceira breathes culture through every pore. There are several cultural institutions and associations, theater groups and temporary and permanent exhibition sites that contribute to the promotion of the island’s culture. This is the case of the Angra do Heroísmo Museum, which is located at the Convento de São Francisco [St. Francis’s Convent] and has on display remarkable collections of military history and of means of transportation from the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the city of Praia da Vitória, the small house where Vitorino Nemésio was born was transformed into the Casa Vitorino Nemésio [Vitorino Nemésio’s House]. A major figure in Portuguese culture, he was not only a renowned poet and writer but also a multifaceted intellectual who worked as a journalist, a professor, a historian and a TV host, influencing a whole generation.
To explore the museums and visitable collection network: http://www.redemuseuscolecoesvisitaveisacores.pt/en/