Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sao Miguel - Art and History - Places to visit - Brief Description

Lagoa
In Centre of the São Miguel pottery industry, which started in the l9th c. Pieces of great beauty. Fishing port.
We can visit the Church of Santo António, belonged to the annexed Franciscan monastery and example of 18th c. Baroque Azorean architecture, the Chapel ot Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, a 15th c. construction Hispano-Arab glazed tiles.

Agua de Pau
Borough seat from 1515 to 1853. Typical narrow streets recalling Portuguese town of bygone times. Interesting urban centre of Alto do Monte Santo. 18th c houses. Parish church (16th c.). Facade with the Cross of Christ.

Caloura
Formerly Vale de Cabaços. Characteristic village, set among vineyards protected by stone walls. Picturesque fishing port on a narrow creek. Swimming-pool at the end of the breakwater.
We can visit the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Integrated in the monastery of Recollects (Calouras). Founded in the 17th c. interesting example of Baroque architecture. Facade and interior covered with glazed tiles Chancel, retable with funny angels with thick moustaches. Glazed tile portraits of St. Teresa of Avila and St. Philip Nery. Statues attributed to a French sculptor who, with his son, lived among the Recollects of Franciscan monks. Altars with carved woodwork. Tombstones with poetical inscriptions. Interesting gratings carved out of the store of the lateral facade. Churchyard with a bucolic atmosphere and leafy trees Ruins of former fortifications.
Fort Nossa Senhora da Conceição. 17th c. fortress built to defend the harbour.


Vila Franca do Campo
The first capital of the Island. Partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1522. Picturesque fishing town. Pottery making centre with a centuries-long tradition.
We can visit the Church of Sao Miguel; Church of São Pedro; Church of Santo André and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Paz.

Povoação
Place where the first inhabitants of the island settled. Picturesque fishing port. Example of Azorean town planning of the 19th and 20th century. Crossed by a stream. Surrounded by seven hills that afford excellent views.
We can visit the Chapel of Santa Bárbara. Built in the 15th c., restored in the 19th c. is considered the first place of worship to have been built in São Miguel (undergoing reconstruction).

Nordeste
Situated in the far east of the island, in an area with up and downs but of great beauty. Interesting and picturesque town. The Town Hall is an example of l9th c. urban architecture.
We can visit the Church of São Jorge.

Achadinha
Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário. Has its origin in a 16th c. construction. Rebuilt in the l9th century. Retable of the high and side altars. Gilded, carved woodwork.

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