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City Walks and Hikes

Walking Praia

 Largo Conde da Praia da Vitória (Count of Praia da Vitória Square)
The square was named for the Count of Praia by deliberation of the City Hall prior to 1870. The renowned Count of Praia was the first Viscount of Bruges, the Purveyor of the Mint, the leader of the liberal party during the liberal wars, and the Minister of War during the Liberal Government of Terceira, thus he has an important place in the history of Vila da Praia.

 Jardim Municipal – Estátua de João Silvestre Ribeiro (Municipal Garden—Statue of João Silvestre Ribeiro)
The population ordered this statue erected on December 31, 1879 in memory and recognition of the counsellor that took upon himself the rebuilding of Praia after the earthquake of June 15, 1841.

 Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market)
The wooden gates signal the colourfulness of the traditional markets. The market is a meeting point for the residents of the Municipality. The market was built between 1870 and 1882.

 Praça Francisco Ornelas da Câmara – Estátua à Liberdade (Francisco Ornelas da Câmara Square—Statue to Liberty)
Designed by Abraam Abohobot this statue was inaugurated on the first centennial of the Batalha de 11 de Agosto de 1829 (Battle of August 11, 1829) to honour the heroes of the battle. António Ázera, President of the Administrative Council of the City Hall ordered the statue.

 Paços do Concelho (City Hall)
The current building from the sixteenth century substitutes the primitive City Hall that was next to the ocean. The current City Hall was destroyed in the 1614 earthquake and rebuilt in the seventeenth century. Its unique facade and the bell tower are very interesting. The City Hall has a wide well disposed staircase and a curious porch that somewhat resembles those found in the Northern Portuguese manor houses.

 Igreja Matriz (Mother Church)
In this church, whose patron is the Holy Cross, there is a valuable sacred art museum where the precious metalwork is noteworthy. It was established by the first donatory, Jácome de Bruges, in 1456. Although it was reformulated in the nineteenth century, it still preserves the Manueline style that can be seen on the two main gates and vaulted roofs of the church and the side chapels. This church has an important collection of sculptures dating as far back as the sixteenth century, among which is a rare sculpture in polychromatic Indo-Portuguese Ivory from the eighteenth century. A memorial stone from the sixteenth century endures in the Ornelas's chapel. There is noteworthy gilded carved woodwork especially in the Capela do Santíssimo (Chapel of the Most Holy) from the seventeenth century.

 Casa de Vitorino Nemésio (Vitorino Nemésio's House)
This is where the famous writer Vitorino Nemésio was born (1901-1978).
He was a renowned son of Praia, who was Director at the Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa (University of Lisbon School of Arts) and a member of the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa (Academy of Sciences of Lisbon). Many of his works are notable, especially “Mau tempo no Canal” ("Stormy Isles: An Azorean Tale", translated into English), “Paço do Milhafre” ("Palace of the Azorean Kite", not translated) and “Canto de Véspera” ("Song of the Eve", not translated).

 Igreja do Senhor Santo Cristo (Church of the Holy Lord Christ)
The primitive Church of Senhor Santo Cristo or of Misericórdia (Mercy) was devoured by a fire in 1921. It had an image of the Senhor Santo Cristo (Holy Lord Christ) to which the population of the entire island was devout. Tradition said the image appeared inside a box that floated in the ocean, and its origin was unknown. The image was also destroyed by the fire.
Like the primitive church from the sixteenth century, this church is unique because it has two main chapels.
It was restored after the 1980 earthquake. During the restoration two tombs were discovered; they belong to Pedro Barcelos and Dona Leonor Pacheco de Melo.

 Casa das Tias (Aunt's House)
It was here that the Azorean writer Vitorino Nemésio spent part of his childhood. It is an architecturally interesting building, as is the "casa de Barcelos" (Barcelos's house) next to it.

 Miradouro do Facho (Facho Viewpoint)
From here you can see the entirety of the city of Praia da Vitória, including the sandy beaches.

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