Angra do Heroísmo
The delightful capital of the lovely Terceira Island, Angra do Heroísmo, is classified since 1983 as World Heritage by UNESCO, filled with beauty, history, monuments, cosmopolitism and a very own ambiance.
Situated on the south coast of the Terceira Island, by a small and beautiful bay, Angra do Heroismo has much to show and tell. This was the first town in the Azores Archipelago, in 1534, and was already by then a very important and influent place, a big port of commerce and trading and a mandatory port of call in the transcontinental crossings, in the search for the “new world”.
Angra opposed heroically to the Spanish domain and was headquarters of the government between 1580 and 1583, and with the surrender of the Spanish troops in 1641 was named by the king as a “forever loyal town”. The toponym “Heroismo” (“Heroism”) comes from the liberal fights of the 19th century, where Angra stayed firm defending the freedom ideals.
Angra’s beautiful and typical streets are the reflex of years of history, influence of the several inhabitats which came from several mainland regions, and of traders and business man that worked in its important Trading and Commerce Maritime Port. Angra’s wealth is also visible on its monuments, like the many Manor houses and small Palaces that can be seen throughout the region, such as the Bettencounrt or the Capitães Generais Palaces or the Madre de Deus Solar, among many others.
There is much to see, do and know in this World Heritage town, that offers monuments such as the Fort or Castle of São João Baptista and the one of São Sebastião, among the many other fortresses that have kept the island safe for centuries, or the many Churches and Chapels - of which main highlight is the 16th century Cathedral - and also many Convents like the lovely 16th century São Gonçalo Convent, or even the very central and beautiful “Praça Velha” (“Old Square”), that is usually the central point for the discovery of the wealthy heritage that the historical centre presents.
Situated in the greenish Azores Archipelago, Angra do Heroísmo distinguishes for its natural and green areas, with places such as the central Duque de Terceira Garden or the pleasant Relvão Municipal Park. Quite interesting is the Underwater Archaeological Park of the Angra do Heroísmo Bay, a true underwater museum, with testimonies and vestiges that show off the strategically importance of this town throughout the centuries.
Museums, theatres, Bullrings, sport structures, among many other amenities, monuments, amazing panoramas, beaches… Angra do Heroísmo has much to offer and delight to those who visit and celebrate it.