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Monday, January 14, 2008

Faial History - Discovery and Settlement

Although it cannot be proved, it is said that Faial, firstly called Ventura, was discovered together with all the others in 1427 by Diogo de Silves, pilot of the King of Portugal. In 1432 Prince Henry then ordered the Flemish nobleman Josse Van Huerter to take charge of the island and to proceed with its settlement, although there was already a small Portuguese community from Terceira in the Cedros. The Flemish firstly settled in Almofariz Beach, but did not find any water supply there, and so moved to the valley which still holds its name in their memory - Flamengos. The Prince renamed the island São Luís and the arriving Flemish and Portuguese settled in Porto Pim (from the Flemish "safe port") and in Conceição, near the Espalamaca headland (from the Flemish "needle tip"). The Orta Village was then formed (the name was probably taken after Huerter), and the island was given the name of Fayal, due to the large number of trees of that species existing there. With the very profitable pastel plantations (dyeing plant), more Portuguese arrived and after some time the Flemish influence faded away.

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