On the island of Terceira, you will find the town of Angra do Heroísmo. The town dates back to the 15th century and has played an important role in European and world history; such an important role in fact that the entire island has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous explorer Vasco da Gama had to bury his brother on the island during his long voyage to India and back.
The city grew rapidly over the years and Angra do Heroísmo was the first in the Azores to be designated a city. At the same time, back in the 1530s, the city became home to the diocese that had jurisdiction over the entire archipelago.
A half a century later, the city refused to accept Philip as the successor to the throne during what has become known as the Succession Crisis of 1580. The city even went on to support Antonio I as the heir to the Portuguese throne as it was in Angra do Heroísmo, that Antonio I would establish the government while in exile on the island.
Loyal to Portugal throughout its history, during 1640, the town ousted the Spanish that had taken control over Monte Brazil Fort. As a result, the king awarded the city with the eternal title of being the “Ever Loyal City”. Until 1641, the city was known simply as Angra, but it was Queen Maria II who would give the suffix of Heroismo to the name of the town for its numerous acts of heroism and loyalty to Portugal.
Today, there are a number of sites that are definitely a must see for anyone who chooses to visit this ancient and loyal city in the Azores. You can stop by and check out the old castle that has played an important role throughout the history of Portugal.
There are also a number of museums that house a large collection of ancient maps, sculptures and paintings. Of course thanks to the volcanic activity ever present in the Azores, you may just enjoy spending the day at the sulfur geysers and caves that can be found throughout the Caldeira de Guilherme Moniz crater as well as in the Algar do Carvao caves.
Photo by elsa11