Vila do Porto

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Vila do Porto
Municipality (Concelho)
Pico alto s maria 6.JPG
From Pico Alto, the view of the main settlement of the island of Santa Maria, the community of Vila do Porto
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho da Vila do Porto
Name origin: Portuguese for village of the port
Country  Portugal
Autonomous Region  Azores
Island Santa Maria
Municipality Vila do Porto
Civil Parishes Almagreira, Santa Bárbara, Santo Espírito, São Pedro, Vila do Porto
Center Bom Despacho Velho
 - elevation 242 m (794 ft)
 - coordinates 36°58′19″N 25°5′54″W / 36.97194°N 25.09833°W / 36.97194; -25.09833Coordinates: 36°58′19″N 25°5′54″W / 36.97194°N 25.09833°W / 36.97194; -25.09833
Highest point Pico Alto
 - elevation 586.64 m (1,925 ft)
 - coordinates 36°58′58″N 25°5′27″W / 36.98278°N 25.09083°W / 36.98278; -25.09083
Lowest point Sea level
 - location Atlantic Ocean
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Area 96.89 km2 (37 sq mi)
 - urban 3.72 km2 (1 sq mi)
Population 5,552 (2011)
Density 57 / km2 (148 / sq mi)
Settlement c. 1460
LAU Câmara Municipal
 - location Largo Nossa Senhora da Conceição
 - elevation 89 m (292 ft)
 - coordinates 36°57′11″N 25°8′36″W / 36.95306°N 25.14333°W / 36.95306; -25.14333
President Nélia Maria Coutinho Figueiredo
Municipal Chair António José Tavares de Loura
Timezone Azores (UTC-1)
 - summer (DST) Azores (UTC0)
Postal Zone 9580-539
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 292 XX XX XX
Patron Saint Nossa Senhora da Assunção
Municipal Holidays 15 August
Location of the municipality of Vila do Porto in the archipelago of the Azores
Wikimedia Commons: Vila do Porto
Website: http://www.cm-viladoporto.pt

Vila do Porto (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvilɐ ðu ˈpoɾtu], the Port Town) is the single municipality, the name of the main town and one of the civil parishes on the island of Santa Maria, in the Portuguese archipelago of Azores. Its nearest neighbor, administratively, is the municipality of Povoação on the southern coast of São Miguel (to the northwest), and it is physically southwest of the islets of the Formigas. The population in 2011 was 5,552,[1] in an area of 96.89 km².[2]

History[edit]

Santa Maria was the first island in the archipelago to be discovered by Diogo Silves in 1427.[3] By 2 July 1439, a royal charter from Infante D. Pedro, regent of D. Afonso V, referred to the fact that Prince Henry the Navigator had ordered that sheep be set ashore along the seven islands of the Azores (since Corvo and Flores had, at the time, not been discovered).[3] São Miguel and Santa Maria were the first islands to be settled by families from Estremadura, Alto Alentejo and Algarve, facilitated by Gonçalo Velho, then first donatary-captain of the Azores. Gonçalo Velho Cabral, nobleman in the House of the Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) and commander in the Order of Christ, arrived on the island of Santa Maria in 1432. In the cartography of the 14th Century, the island was referred to as Ilha dos Lobos (Island of Wolves, referring to the wolf seals that lived in the region at the time). It became the seat of the first Captaincy of the Azores, which initially included both Santa Maria and São Miguel.

Its first settlement originated in 1439, with the occupation of Praia dos Lobos (and eventually became the northern coastal village of Anjos). Around 1450, was the probably foundation of the settlement of Porto, by Fernão de Quental.[3] Quental's colony was established along the south coast along an escarpment overlooking a small bay that afforded protection for ships: what would become known as the Vila do Porto (town of the port). This town would become incorporated in 1470, when the town of Porto received the obligatory and first foral (charter), in addition to the establishment of the first lighthouse in the Azores.[3] Although never experiencing earthquakes since its initial settlement (in comparison to the other islands in the Azores), the community was always marked by isolation, inaccessibility and weak defensive position.

It was, by the beginning of the 17th century, the fortification of São Brás along the cliff-tops of Cimo da Rocha, was constructed, near the hermitage dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception.[3]

In 1901, it received an official visit from King Carlos I of Portugal and Queen Amélie, and later that year elected the first Republican municipal government.

Between 1942 and 1944, in the context of the Second World War, the airport was constructed to provide support and emergency facilities for the island.[3] This airport was transferred to the Portuguese Air Force in 1946, and the barrio (Bairro do Aeroporto) was begun by architect Keil do Amaral.[3]

On 21 October 1992, the historical centre was protected, a zone delimited by Vila do Porto, under Regional Legislative Decree 22/92/A.[3] By 24 August 2004, a new document was published by the regional legislature (Decree 29/2004/A), that set out the jurisdictional regime to protect, conserve and promote the cultural heritage; classified under article 58, the "historic centre" of Vila do Porto, was reclassified as a Group of Public Interest, and the older protections revoked.[3]

Geography[edit]

The municipality covers the entirety of the island of Santa Maria, in the eastern edge of the archipelago of the Azores. Nascently a coastal municipality, the settlements are nonetheless located over a cliff-top platform, dominated in the west by a semi-arid plain and in the east by the hugged flanks of the Pico Alto mountainous ridge. Although its principal urban area is located along linear tracts in the southwestern coast (oriented north to south), there exist various urban settlements and agglomerations throughout the island.


The municipality incorporates the island of Santa Maria in its entirety, and is divide into five parishes (population in 2011):

Sister city[edit]

Vila do Porto's sister city is:

Architecture[edit]

Religious[edit]

  • Church of Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Almagreira/Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho), constructed under the orders of Manuel de Moura and his wife, Inês Pereira, in the early 18th century, and evolved into the parochial church of Almagreira;[4]
  • Church of Santa Bárbara (Portuguese: Igreja Paroquial de Santa Bárbara/Igreja de Santa Bárbara), dating to the middle of the 17th century, the parochial church of Santa Bárabra is marked by presbytery and lateral angular chapels;[5]
  • Hermitage of Nossa Senhora de Lurdes (Portuguese: Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Lurdes), the isolated single-nave hermitage in the region of Norte, is known for its main altar, constructed using volcanic stone, resembling the grotto where the Marian apparition occurred in Lourdes, France;[6]
  • Hermitage of Santo Amaro (Portuguese: Ermida de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios/Ermida de Santo Amaro), dedicated to Saint Maurus (but, later to Our Lady of Medicine), this simple, coastal chapel is located alongside Ribeira da Praia, of palstered masonry brickwork.[7] The single-nave chapel includes well-preserved wood pulpit, designed in the Baroque-style and ancillary sacristy.[7][8]
  • Império of the Holy Spirit of Santa Bárbara (Portuguese: Império do Espírito Santo de Santa Bárbara/Treatro do Espírito Santo de Santa Bárbara), the small, unimposing treatro or chapel dedicated to the annual celebrations of the Cult of the Holy Spirit, was dedicated in 1900, to replace existent temporary structures. The simple one-room space includes altar and space for the artifacts of the religious and ceremonial processions held throughout the period following Pentecost Sunday;[9]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. ^ Eurostat
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Costa, Anouk (2012), SIPA, ed., Núcleo urbano da Vila do Porto/Zona Classificada de Vila do Porto (IPA.00027982/PT072107050009) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 30 March 2015 
  4. ^ Noé, Paula (2010), SIPA, ed., Igreja Paroquial de Almagreira/Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho (IPA.00029938/PT072107010010) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 6 May 2012 
  5. ^ Noé, Paula (2010), SIPA, ed., Igreja Paroquial de Santa Bárbara/Igreja de Santa Bárbara (IPA.00029937/PT072107020011) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 2 November 2013 
  6. ^ Valério, Bruna; Noé, Paula (2013), SIPA, ed., Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Lourdes (IPA.00035078/PT072107020019) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico 
  7. ^ a b Valério, Bruna; Noé, Paula (2014), SIPA, ed., Ermida de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios/Ermida de Santo Amaro (IPA.00035086) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 28 March 2014 
  8. ^ "11.43.24 ERMIDA DE NOSSA SENHORA DOS REMÉDIOS". Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), Portugal: Centro de Conhecimento dos Açores/Direção Regional de Cultura. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2014-12-24. 
  9. ^ Noé, Paula (2012), SIPA, ed., Igreja Paroquial de Santa Bárbara/Igreja de Santa Bárbara (IPA.00033886/PT072107020019) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 2 November 2013 
Sources
  • AA.VV. (2005), Livro das paisagens dos Açores, Contributos para a identificação e caracterização das paisagens dos Açores (in Portuguese), Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal: Direção Regional do Ordenamento do Território e dos Recursos Hídricos 
  • Almeida, Álvaro Duarte de; Belo, Duarte (2006), Portugal Património, Madeira-Açores (in Portuguese) X, Lisbon, Porutgal: Círculo de Leitores, pp. 202–203 
  • Bruno, Jorge A. Paulus (2005), Inventário do património imóvel do Açores (in Portuguese), Vila do Porto (Azores), Portugal: Direcção Regional da Cultura/Instituto Açoriano de Cultura/Câmara Municipal de Vila de Porto 
  • Fernandes, José (1996), Casas da Macaronésia (in Portuguese), Porto, Portugal: FAUP 
  • Fernandes, José (2008), História ilustrada da arquitectura dos Açores (in Portuguese), Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), Portugal: Instituto Açoriano de Cultura 
  • Frutuoso, Gaspar (1987), Saudades da Terra (in Portuguese), Instituto Cultural de Ponta Delgada