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City Walks and Hikes

Walking Angra

 Outeiro da Memória (Memória Hillock)
João Vaz Corte – Real ordered the first fort of the Azores built on this hillock (c.1474).
Removed from the sea, it followed the medieval, continental and Mediterranean idea of a defence from the high ground.
Since the middle of the nineteenth century the obelisk stands "in remembrance" of King Dom Pedro IV.

 Ribeira dos Moinhos (Mill Stream)/Ruas/ do Pisão, Garoupinha and Santo Espírito (Streets)
In the valley where Angra is located ran a wild stream (approximately where the green tubes from the hydroelectric power plant are today). The stream was diverted and canalized on a bed of coursed squared stones by Álvaro Martins Homem before 1474. It was the backbone of the city's industries (mills, leather tanning, flax preparation, etc.) for 500 years.
Between the hillock and the city's port, a sinuous network of streets evolved along the stream in a sequence of Y–shapes typical of archaic urbanism.

 Convento de São Francisco (Saint Francis Convent)
This convent served as the headquarters of the Azorean Franciscan Province of Saint John the Evangelist.
Captain João Vaz Corte-Real and Paulo da Gama were buried in the first chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guia, which was established at the end of the fifteenth century.

 Convento Nossa Sr.ª da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception Convent)
"The 7th Convent is commonly called the nun's Conceição (Conception) to distinguish it from the clergyman's collegiate Conceição (Conception).
This convent has such stature, and unique and perfect rule, that they say that in Portugal there is only one other similar to this one." -Father António Cordeiro, "Historia Insulana das Ilhas a Portugal Sujeitas no Oceano Ocidental", 1717.
The Santo Espírito hospital was transferred here after the convents were closed in 1832.

 Igreja da Conceição (Church of Our Lady of the Conception)
Rebuilt in approximately 1533 over the old chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, it has in its interior renaissance panels of a mobile altar depicting scenes from the Old Testament (Artist: Master of the Cathedral of Angra, circa 1600) and a descent from the cross (Artist: Portuguese School, Seventeenth Century).

 Solar de Nossa Sr.ª dos Remédios (Our Lady of Remedies Manor House), Provedor das Armadas (Purveyor of the Navy)
Built in the sixteenth century by Pêro Anes do Canto purveyor of the King's Navy, this building underwent many modifications in order to give assistance and support to the ships from the Indies. The manor house still displays the Canto e Castro coat of arms.
Its location, among the houses of Corpo Santo (a fishing quarter) allowed it quick access to the port.

 Adro Santo (Holy Church Square)
Between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries there was a chapel here called Corpo Santo (Corposant or St. Elmo's fire) by some, S. Pedro Gonçalves (Blessed Peter Gonzalez) or Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (Our Lady of Good Voyage) by others and to whom the locals were greatly devoted. The local inhabitants were mostly fishermen, who have always lived in this area which was one of the first areas of the city to be inhabited.

 Fortaleza de S. Sebastião (Saint Sebastian Fort)
On the suggestion of Isidoro de Almeida, the architect Tomaz Benedito de Pesaro designed this fortress in the Italian style. It was finished during King Sebastião's reign, from whom it invokes São Sebastião.

Unlike the Castle of S. Luís Memória, which is inland and maladjusted to the reality of the Islands, this fort shows a new perspective of coastal defence which is sensitive to and conscious of the need to protect and serve the seaports.

 Igreja da Misericórdia (Church of Mercy)
The first hospital of the Azores was established here based on an agreement of the brotherhood of the Holy Spirit dated March 15, 1492. One of the founders was João Vaz – Corte Real captain of Angra and discoverer of the New World.
The brotherhood of the Santo Cristo das Misericórdias (Holy Christ of the Mercy), which came later and joined the existing brotherhood, ordered the construction of the existing church (eighteenth century). In the Igreja da Misericórdia two altars face each other, the altar of the Holy Spirit is on the left and the altar of the Santo Cristo das Misericórdias is on the right.
In the nineteenth century the hospital was moved to the Convent of Nossa Sr.ª da Conceição.

 Estaleiro Naval (Shipyard)
The ships from the Indies, Malaca, Goa, Cartagena, Havana and Porto Rico, among others, passed through Angra on their way to Lisbon, Cadiz or Seville.
As a port city, Angra had a shipyard installed here in the sand.

 Rua Direita (Street)
This was the first main street of Angra; it ran "directly" from the port to the square and the Captain Donatory's house.
It marks the construction of the first modern society open to the sea by a people that, until then, were used to other urban models.

 Casa do Conde de Vila Flor (Count of Vila Flor's House)
Here lived Dom António José S. M. M. Severim de Noronha, 11th Captain General of the Azores, 7th Count of Vila Flor, and 1st Duke of Terceira.
He was a military officer, a leader of the Constitutionalist side in the Liberal Wars and a member of the liberal Regency established in Angra to defend Queen Maria II's rights when she was usurped.
He led the liberal army in the battle of August 11, 1829 in Praia after which the town was given the name of Praia da Vitória (Victory Beach).

 Praça Velha (Old Square)
Square is a concept that was recovered from classic antiquity and was almost never used during the middle ages. This may be the first Portuguese square designed to be a meeting point of two streets conforming to the urban ideals of the Renaissance.

 Paços do Concelho (City Hall)
Angra has had three City Halls. The first city hall had a small square in front. Later, the growing importance of the city and the trade from the Indies led to the construction of a larger square and successively more honourable buildings until the current building. The current City Hall was built in the nineteenth century and was inspired by the Oporto's old City Hall. It has one of the largest and noblest great halls of the country.

 Casa do Capitão do Donatário (Captain Donatory's House)
João Vaz Corte-Real, Captain Donatory, ordered his houses built here around 1474. The houses were strategically located at the base of the Memória hillock, where the Castle was, on top of Rua Direita (Street), at the end of which is the port.
The building still has structures dating from that time.

 Palácio dos Capitães Generais (Palace of the Captains General)
On the spot where the houses of the Távora family had been, the Jesuits built a school with a Pátio de Estudo (Study Courtyard), where the car park is today, and a church. In 1776, the 1st Captain General of the Azores, Dom Antão de Almada, proposed and began the adaptation of the building into a palace. It was the Royal Court twice—King Pedro IV in 1832 and King Carlos I in 1901. The temple, rich in gilded carved wood, ceramic tiles and images, is a reflection of the catholic reform Church influenced by a fondness for decorations from the Indies.

 Convento da Esperança (Hope Convent)
Angra had at one time nine convents starting with São Gonçalo and ending with Santo António dos Capuchos. The Esperança Convent, of the Order of Saint Clare like the São Gonçalo Convent, was established during the second half of the sixteenth century. The building was divided and sold in the nineteenth century. After the 1980 earthquake the remains of the church were found.
The openings for the choir and the arch of the main chapel are a good example of reconstruction using the old structures in the new function.

 Igreja do Santíssimo Salvador da Sé (Church of the Holy Saviour of the Cathedral)
Building began in 1570 by order of the Cardinal Dom Henrique upon the previous parish church built by Álvaro Martins Homem (c. 1461). Entombed in this cathedral is the purveyor of the Navy Pêro Anes do Canto.
The foreman of this Renaissance and Plain Style cathedral was Luís Gonçalves.
This church faces north contrary to the old custom of a church and its main altar facing Jerusalem to the east.
- The panels of the life of Christ (sixteenth-century wood painting) from the main altar have been preserved.
- The Indo Portuguese style bookshelf made in the Azores of jacaranda from Brazil and whale ivory is a precious piece of evidence of the Azores as cultural meeting point.
- The altar frontal (antependium) made of silver is an exquisite example of the precious metalwork from Terceira.
The altar was made by Manuel Carneiro de Lima for the brotherhood of the Holy Spirit between 1702 and 1720.

 Palácio Bettencourt (Bettencourt Palace)
This Baroque building was erected at the end of the seventeenth century and beginning of the eighteenth century. More recent modifications have not affected the architectural beauty of the building. The facade has an excellent porch chiselled in squared stones from the region with two Solomonic columns topped with Composite capitals, an architrave and a large tablet that surrounds the coat of arms of the Bettencourt family.

 Antigo Paço Episcopal (Old Episcopal Palace)
In 1544, King Dom João III gave the palace that existed here "for all time" to the Bishops of Angra to use. The palace was made up of houses, kitchens, yard and pigeon coop.

Some of the walls of the original building are still standing. It is close to the Sé (Cathedral) on the Carreira dos Cavalos street (Horse Course), so called because "...feasts with horses were held every year on this street which is not paved, but dirt..."

 Convento de São Gonçalo (São Gonçalo Convent)
Established in 1545 this convent is the oldest in the city and was the first specifically for nuns, the Order of Saint Claire. It is the largest conventual complex in Angra and one of the largest of the Azores. The convent has two cloisters, an enclosure and barns. The church and the choirs, with ups and downs, are some of the most expressive in the archipelago in the style of King João V.

The Baroque and Conventual style interior has a row of chairs for the choir with wonderful figures, a set of Portuguese tile panels (eighteenth century), a crucified Christ on a silver cross (seventeenth century, Spanish School, possibly South American), and a rich covering in carved wood panels, canvases and painted ceiling (eighteenth century).

 Solar da Madre De Deus (Mother of God Manor House)
This is an example of a seventeenth and eighteenth-century manor house typical of the higher areas of the Portuguese port cities and overseas territories.

 Hospital da Boa Nova (Good News Hospital)
Built by the Spanish to treat servicemen serving at what was then called the castle of S. Filipe do Monte Brasil, it may be the oldest military hospital in the world (1615).

 Castelo de São Filipe/ São João Baptista do Monte Brasil (Saint Philip/Saint John the Baptist Castle of Mount Brazil)
Begun around 1592 by order of Filipe II of Spain, I of Portugal, the castle envelops all of Monte Brasil controlling the two anchorages at Angra and Fanal. The castle's main function was the protection of the ships coming from the West Indies (Spanish America) and is quite possibly the largest fort built by Spain in the whole world. During the reign of King Filipe III of Spain, II of Portugal, the castle had about 400 artillery pieces, four kilometres of ramparts, three square kilometres of area and 1,500 front line troops. This castle has several interesting historical facts associated with it. It is the oldest fort continuously occupied by Portuguese troops; its flag tower is where Queen Dona Maria II's emblem was first raised; it has the first church to have been built in Portugal after the Restoration (1645); and it is one of the few places where both the Iberian Colonial Empires left their mark.

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