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Terceira

Between mountains flows a Lilac landscape dotted with cattle pasturing near the coast where the sea and the waves are the watchful shepherds. Impressive feasts are celebrated in honour of the saints that divinely helped these devout people. These images become imprinted on the memory of our visitors.

Places to Visit

Monte Brasil (Mount Brazil)

Monte Brasil is an extinct volcano that emerged from the sea to join the city of Angra do Heroísmo. It is a protected landscape and the city's natural park. Monte Brasil has excellent viewpoints and tree and shrub species that are of special interest.

The Castle of São João Baptista (Saint John the Baptist), on Mount Brasil, is one of the largest and most important forts that the Philippine Dynasty built in Portugal at the end of the sixteenth century.

This area is inviting for relaxing walks and has a hiking and walking trail, called Monte (Mount) Brasil, duly marked and recognized by the Regional Department of Tourism.

Cidade de Angra do Heroísmo (City of Angra do Heroísmo)

The city of Angra do Heroísmo is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. With hallmark manor houses, the urban layout dates from the sixteenth century and the buildings date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Owing to its historical and cultural importance the city of Angra do Heroísmo was a regional monument even before being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.

Of the many buildings that are worth a visit because of their history, magnificence and architectural styles we highlight a few.

Sé Catedral (Cathedral)

This church was built in the architectural style of the Philippine Dynasty at the end of the sixteenth century over a gothic church dating from the fifteenth century. Its interior has many very interesting details among which are an enormous ambulatory main chapel and a carved cedar ceiling.

Igreja da Nossa Sra. da Conceição (Church of Our Lady of the Conception)

This church has a baroque construction from the sixteenth century. The main chapel is made of gilded carved wood. The furniture in the sacristy is made from jacaranda wood from the eighteenth century.

Igreja e Convento de São Francisco - Museu de Angra do Heroísmo (Saint Francis Church and Convent – Angra do Heroísmo Museum)
This eighteenth century construction was built on two previous Franciscan convents.

The adjoining church, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Guia (Our Lady of Guidance) has three naves divided by two rows of arches that evoke Romanesque architecture.

Entombed in the first chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guia, which was established in the late fifteenth century, are Captain João Vaz Corte-Real, a Portuguese explorer, and the brother of the navigator Vasco da Gama, Paulo da Gama, who died on the return trip from India in 1499.

Palácio dos Capitães-Generais (Colégio dos Jesuítas) (Palace of the Captains General (Jesuit School))
Formerly a Jesuit School, this building was turned into the residency of the Captains General in 1776. Through the years the Palace received a valuable collection of furniture, canvases and other works of art. The Palace has a room with life-size oil paintings of the Bragança Dynasty including Queen Maria II.

Castelo de São João Baptista (Saint John the Baptist Castle)
This is one of the most imposing Portuguese fortresses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ordered built, at the base of Mount Brasil, by Phillip II of Spain.

Castelo de São Sebastião (Saint Sebastian Castle)
Above Porto de Pipas (Casks Port) this fortress, in the Joanino and Sebastianistic style, was ordered built by King Dom Sebastião in the 1670s. In 1830, a casemate battery was added to the existing fort.

It is thought that the Italian architect Tommazo Benedetto designed the project for this fort. It is an Italian style fort with a fortified system adapted to the Portuguese style of construction (Mannerism).

The fortress now houses one of the Pousadas of Portugal (historic).

Alto da Memória (Top of the Memória)

This obelisk is a remembrance of King Dom Pedro IV's presence in the city of Angra. It was erected on the spot of the first castle of the city that stood in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Jardim Botânico

The Jardim Duque da Terceira (Duke of Terceira Garden) is a botanical garden in the centre of Angra do Heroísmo with many well cared exotic specimens. In the upper portion of the garden, the "Tanque do Preto" deserves a visit. (It is called Black Man's Tank because of a statue of a black figure on it.)

A unique and beautiful lava stone staircase leads to the Alto da Memória monument that was built as a tribute to the Discoveries. This monument was erected on the spot where the first castle of Terceira Island stood. From the monument at Alto da Memória there is a beautiful view of the city of Angra do Heroísmo, its bay, the Fort of São Sebastião, the Fort of São João Baptista and Monte Brasil.

Algar do Carvão (Coal Cave)

Algar do Carvão (Coal Cave) is a notable volcanic chimney that, contrary to the general norm, is not obstructed.

The cave ends in a limpid pool fed by rainwater infiltration and small submerged springs that has a maximum depth of 15 metres.

The geological importance of this volcanic cavity has been recognized by both national and international specialists.

This site also includes a natural habitat that is on the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) of the Natura 2000 in the Macaronesian region.
Nearby are the Furnas do Enxofre, which are volcanic fumaroles.

Furnas do Enxofre (Sulphur Fumaroles)
The Furnas do Enxofre are a secondary volcanic phenomenon called fumaroles. The fumaroles are classified as a Regional Natural Monument. The Furnas do Enxofre are considered an integral part of a natural habitat that is on the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) of the Natura 2000 in the Macaronesian region.

Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave)
The Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave) is in a privileged spot in front of a beautiful pond, the Lagoa do Negro, around which picnickers can often be seen. In the vicinity there is a hiking and walking trail, called Mistérios Negros (Black Mysteries), duly marked and recognized by the Regional Department of Tourism

Biscoitos

Biscoitos are unique volcanic formations that resulted from old eruptions on the north coast of the island where the famous grapevines in small stone enclosures are located. It is a Specified Region of extensive vineyards that produce an excellent verdelho wine.

At the parish of Biscoitos you can visit the Museu do Vinho (Wine Museum) and taste the Verdelho wine that is produced here. The natural saltwater pools at Biscoitos formed by volcanic rocks are a locally popular bathing site that should not be missed.

Miradouro da Serra do Cume (Viewpoint at Serra do Cume)

The Viewpoint at Serra do Cume has one of the most beautiful landscape views of the Azores, popularly called "Manta de Retalhos" or "Patchwork Quilt". On one side you can see the bay of Praia da Vitória and the Lajes plane and on the other is a view of the interior of the island with its typical enclosed fields, named "cerrados", that are divided by stone walls and hedges of hydrangeas.

Miradouro da Serra do Facho (Viewpoint at Serra do Facho)

The Viewpoint at Serra do Facho offers a panoramic view of the city of Praia da Vitória, its bay and ocean port.


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