The City of Horta and Horta Bay, as seen from the Nossa Senhora da Conceição outlook, showing the marina, the old dock, and volcanic cones, Monte Escuro and Monte da Guia.
Location of the municipality of Horta in the archipelago of the Azores
|Established||Settlement: c. 1467|
Town: c. 1498
City/Municipality: 4 July 1833
|• President||José Leonardo Goulart da Silva|
|• Total||173.06 km2 (66.82 sq mi)|
|Elevation||404 m (1,325 ft)|
|• Density||87/km2 (230/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−01:00 (AZOT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC±00:00 (AZOST)|
|Patron||Santíssimo Salvador da Horta|
|Local holiday||24 June|
Horta (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɔɾtɐ] ( listen )) is a municipality and city in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores encompassing the island of Faial. The population in 2011 was 15,038 in an area of 173.06 square kilometres (66.82 sq mi) The city of Horta itself has a population of about 7,000.
Horta's marina is a primary stop for yachts crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and its walls and walkways are covered with paintings created by visitors noting the names of their vessels, crews, and the years they visited. Peter's Cafe Sport is a bar located across from the marina that houses the island's scrimshaw museum, a collection of artifacts carved from whale tooth and jawbone. Peter's is a point of reference for transatlantic yachters and sailors.
In 1467 the Flemish nobleman Josse van Huerter returned to Faial on a second expedition, this time disembarking along the shore of what would be known as Horta Bay. He built a small chapel which would later form the nucleus of a small community known as Horta, a name possibly derived from the transliteration of his name. In the Portuguese language the word horta means "orchard," another possible origin of the settlement's name. The infante D. Fernando, Duke of Viseu, granted Huerter the first captaincy of the island on February 2, 1468.
Unlike on other Azorean islands, Flemish peasants and business interests were not the first settlers of Faial. The first Faialense settlers were generally farmers from continental Portugal—particularly northern Portugal—hoping to escape poverty. Huerter eventually cultivated new business opportunities in Flanders, attracting a second wave of Flemish settlers under the stewardship of Willem van der Haegen (later transliterated to Guilherme da Silveira), who brought Flemish administrators, tradesmen, settlers, and other compatriots to settle on Faial.
Huerter's son Joss de Utra (who would become the second Captain-General) and his daughter D. Joana de Macedo (who married Martin Behaim at the Santa Cruz chapel) continued living on Faial long after van Huerter's death. In 1498 King Manuel I of Portugal decreed Horta elevated to the status of vila (town), as its center had grown to the north from the area around the Santa Cruz chapel. The island prospered by exporting wheat and woad-derived dyes.
On June 28, 1514, the parish of Matriz do São Salvador da Horta was constituted and services were begun. In 1567 the cornerstone of what would be the Fort of Santa Cruz was laid. Horta's increasing population compelled the creation of the parishes of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (July 30, 1568) and Nossa Senhora da Angustias (November 28, 1684) by the diocese of Angra. As two nuclei developed around Santa Cruz and Porto Pim, growth also extended around the older Matriz, where the Tower Clock now stands, and the public square, where Alameda Barão de Roches now exists. Public buildings were erected between Rua Visconde Leite Perry and Rua Arriage Nunes and eventually the town hall and court offices moved to the former Jesuit College, after the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in 1758.
In 1583—during the beginning of the Iberian Union—Spanish soldiers under the command of D. Pedro de Toledo landed in Pasteleiro on Faial's southwestern coast. After skirmishing at the doors of the fort, the Spanish executed Captain of Faial António Guedes de Sousa. Four years later George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland—while commanding a fleet of 13 British ships in the Azores Voyage of 1589—captured a Spanish ship and then plundered Faial's churches and convents, profaning them and destroying reliquaries and crucifixes. The British captured several artillery pieces and set fire to houses within the Fort of Santa Cruz. In 1597 a new British force under Walter Raleigh, second in command to Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, sacked and burned religious buildings and churches in Horta and the neighboring parishes of Flamengos, Feteira, and Praia do Almoxarife. The constant threat of privateers and pirates forced the construction of several forts and lookouts.
In 1643, Horta had about 2579 inhabitants and 610 homes. In 1675 D. Frei Lourenço, Bishop of Angra, authorized the renovation and re-ornamentation of the chapel of Santa Cruz. This work was completed in 1688.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Horta was a small town extending along the shoreline. It was peppered by various convents and churches, but little commerce and almost no industry. However, due to its central location in the Azores and Atlantic Ocean, it prospered as a stopover on important commercial routes between Europe and the Americas. For a time Horta was a center of commerce and travel, particularly as a gateway for Azorean orange exports and exports of wine from Pico Island, as well as an important stop for North American whalers, and later as a refueling port for coal-powered ships during their transatlantic passages.
In 1804 John Bass Dabney (1766–1826), the United States Consul General in the Azores, married Roxanne Lewis and moved to a home in Horta.Their son Charles William Dabney (who later married Francis Alsop Pomeroy) succeeded his father in this position and played an important part in the history and economy of Horta and Faial. This was helped by the construction of a commercial port in 1876 and the installation of transatlantic telegraph cables in 1893. The Dabney family steered the island's economy for 83 years with good effect on the dynamic growth of the port, the export of oranges and Verdelho wine from Pico, and commerce related to the whaling industry.
On September 26, 1814, the American privateer brig General Armstrong , under the command of Samuel Chester Reid, was sunk by three ships of the British Royal Navy under the command of Robert Lloyd. [ citation needed ]After being forced to scuttle his ship, Reid formally protested the ship's destruction in a neutral port, criticizing Portuguese incapacity to defend their own waters. Her principal piece of naval artillery, the cannon "Long Tom", was later recovered from Horta Bay. It was eventually offered to General Batcheller, the United States Minister in Lisbon, in compensation. General Batcheller returned to Horta to pick up the cannon and delivered it to New York City on board the ship USS Vega on or about April 18, 1893.
On July 4, 1833, the vila of Horta, through the initiative of the Duke d'Ávila and Bolama, was elevated to the status of city and the district capital as a reward for Faial's support of Liberal forces during the Portuguese Liberal Revolution. The city hall's coat of arms were changed to read “Very Loyal City of Horta” by decree of King Luís I of Portugal on May 3, 1865.
Construction of Horta's commercial port in 1876 increased the city's international importance. On August 23, 1893, the first telegraph cables linking Horta (Alagoa) and Lisbon (Carcavelos) made Horta a link in transatlantic communication. The presence of several foreign cable companies in Horta increased the economic activity and development, urban growth, and frequency of cultural and sporting activities on the island. Between 1893 and 1969 Horta was an important post in intercontinental communications.
Horta entered into the annals of early aviation history when United States Navy Captain Albert Cushing Read completed the first Atlantic leg of the first transatlantic flight when he landed his Curtiss NC-4 floatplane in the Bay of Horta in May 1919.
In 1921 Dutch seagoing tugboats began using Horta as a stopover. After a hiatus during World War II, they returned during the period of European reconstruction.
After 1939 Horta was a scheduled waypoint on the transatlantic flying boat routes between North America and Europe, including the Pan Am Clipper fleet which docked in Horta harbour.
By 1960 yachts started using Horta's sheltered port during transatlantic voyages.
On 24 August 1971, in the civil parish of Castelo Branco, President of Portugal Américo Tomás inaugurated the Horta Airport. Since 1972 the Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos (which was the forerunner of SATA Air Azores) has provided scheduled flights from Horta to the islands of the triangle (Central Group). During the 1980s TAP Air Portugal, the national flag carrier, established direct service from Horta to Lisbon, while further fleet improvements allowed SATA to directly link Horta with all Azorean islands. Following major renovations in December 2001, the airport was designated an international airport, although no foreign airlines have scheduled or charter flights arriving at Horta Airport.
Periodic improvements to Horta harbour allowed the city to become a stopover for yachts and cruise ships and provide ongoing assistance to transatlantic voyagers. This was facilitated when the municipal authority inaugurated a 300-slip marina on 3 June 1986. Horta harbour is a fleet centre for the Azorean ferry lines Transmaçor and Atlanticoline, resulting in new investments and the construction of a secondary pier for inter-island passenger traffic.
Horta has the typical humid subtropical climate with significant Mediterranean influences associated with the Azores. Horta, along with nearby Madalena is one of the Azorean cities most prone to high temperatures, and unlike Angra do Heroísmo and Ponta Delgada, temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) have been recorded on a few occasions. Averages, however, are extremely similar to the aforementioned cities. Precipitation averages about 962 millimetres (37.9 in) per year and is concentrated from September to February. On average November is the wettest month, while July is the driest. Temperatures are mild to warm year-round and average 20 °C (68 °F) in the daytime and 15 °C (59 °F) at night.
|Climate data for Horta (Monte da Guia), elevation: 62 m or 203 ft, 1971-1994 normals, 1961-1990 extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||12.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||3.3|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||90.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||80||80||80||79||81||81||80||80||80||79||80||81||80|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||91||95||120||155||182||174||232||238||178||144||103||83||1,795|
|Source 1: IPMA (normals & precipitation)|
|Source 2: NOAA (sunshine hours & humidity), Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (extremes)|
Three parishes comprise the urban area of the city of Horta (the urbanized area and historical center): Angústias, Conceição, and Matriz. The remaining parishes comprising the rest of the municipality are located along the Regional E.R.1-1ª road network, and includes lands from the ocean to the central volcano (with the exception of Flamengos, which is the only landlocked parish). Faial Island, comprising Horta's urbanized area and the parishes, has an area of 173.06 square kilometres (66.82 sq mi)
In 2011, the national census discovered a resident population of 15,038: a slight decrease from the 2001 population (15,063 inhabitants).Yet, the number of aggregate families grew significantly (4795 to 5465 families reporting their participation in such groups), an increase from 2.8 to 3.1 people per family. Similarly, there has been a 21.69% increase in the number occupied buildings within the municipality.
From Espalamaca or Monte da Guia, the city of Horta is typical of insular Portuguese coastal communities and the urban traditions of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The city is seaward looking, much like Angra do Heroísmo or Velas. It is rounded by several volcanic cones located to its southern and eastern margins, the most prominent being Monte da Guaia, Monte do Carneiro, and Monte Escuro. Horta is centered along its principal avenue—referred to as either Avenida Marginal or Avenida D. Infante Henriques—and cut by several smaller roads. The city's historical center lies to the north near Espalamaca, with a grouping of north–south and east–west roads developed during initial colonization. The population of Horta's urban center during the first decade of the 21st century was about 7,000.
Horta grew from streets such as:
These streets formed from the central colony along hills parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ocean. Littoral growth was made cautiously until the town square, civic center, town hall, and local water wells were built along the seashore in both directions. Religious institutions generally mark the extent of urbanized–rural limits (as the Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo and Convent of the Capuchos do today to the northeast).
Modern Horta grew beyond the limits of this early colonization. A secondary nucleus grew in the area of Porto Pim, and infilling occurred sporadically until a crescent formed along the banks of the east coast, only contained by Ponte de Espalamaca to the north and open ocean to the south. The cinder cones in the south likely protected settlers and ships from the north Atlantic weather systems. Horta grew slowly into the river valleys of Faial's interior, linking the parishes of Flamengos to the west and Feteira to the southwest to form an incomplete urbanized mass. The nodes of growth basically follow the road network, including the recently completed "Scute" (freeway) that bypasses the southern E.R.1-1ª road between Angustias and Feteira.
Horta is twinned with:
Due to its central position in the Triangle of islands in the Azores's Central Group, Horta has been the focus of economic activity on Faial. It was the staging and export centre for many of the economic cycles of the region: the export of woad-derived dyes, oranges, whale oil, and Pico-grown Verdelho wines historically built Faial's economy. Many of the landed gentry concentrated their shops, production facilities, and homes in the city, while agricultural goods were shipped to the city before being sent on to Europe or North America. For a long time, the island of Pico was an exclave of Horta with summer homes, agricultural parcels, and herds owned by residents of Faial, until its emancipation on 8 March 1723.
After the failure of the economic cycles through boom-and-bust economies (brought on by weather, plant disease, or market deviation), the city of Horta became a staging point for transatlantic shipment firstly for whaling fleets, and later for the submarine cable companies that laid communication lines between Europe and North America. These spurts of growth concentrated the population and political and economic classes within Horta, and economic activities on Faial.
Horta today is polarized between the same dichotomy that existed between the hinter- and heartlands, with most primary economic activities (agricultural mostly) dispersed into the parishes, while the secondary and tertiary activities are concentrated in the three main parishes (Angústias, Conceição and Matriz). In addition, the prosperity of the early 20th century, concentrated on the transatlantic traffic, has developed into a tourist-oriented economy concentrated on the architecture, geographic, leisure, and sociocultural aspects of the island. This includes sightseeing tours and whale-watching expeditions departing from the city, the arrival of semi-weekly cruise ships during the summer, and cultural festivals that unite local residents and visitors throughout the year.
The island is circled by the Regional E.R.1-1ª roadway which directly connects all parish centres (except Flamengos) with the city Horta. Apart from personal vehicles, a bus system provides daily access to the city from the outer parishes.
The centre of most activity in the municipality is Horta's port and passenger terminal which, until 28 July 2012, was located south of the Fort of Santa Cruz in the parish of Angustias. The passenger ferries operated by Transmaçor (the Cruzeiro do Canal and Cruzeiro da Ilha) provided passenger service to and from the island of Pico (Madalena), while Atlânticoline (using contracted ships) provided inter-island service to the remaining islands from the main dock across the harbour. On 28 July 2012, a new passenger ferry and dock was inaugurated across the harbour at the mouth of the Ribeira da Conceição across from the old District Courthouse. 393-metre (1,289 ft) long wharf, with a 267-metre (876 ft) long by 80-metre (260 ft) wide usable docking space containing two ramps for roll-on/roll-off operation, with the express purpose of supporting passenger traffic within the triangle islands of the central Azores. A 130-metre (430 ft) long embankment 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft) in area was also built to protect the Ribeira da Conceição. The project involved changes to the road network in the area, parking areas, pavement and green-spaces, as well as new public illumination, water supply, telecommunications, and fueling resources. In addition to these improvements, Transmaçor acquired two new ships to be brought into service by the end of 2014 in order to support the island's tourist economy. At the new wharf's inauguration, President of the Azorean Regional Government Carlos Cesar indicated the importance of inter-island traffic for the islands, which for 16 years had transported 290,000 passengers annually (and now is beyond 400,000).A €33 million project, the dock was started in 2009, and resulted in a
The city contains the Horta Regional Museum which has a permanent exhibit, Exhibition of Capelinhos Volcano, detailing in photographs the 1957 volcanic eruption in the Azores. The museum also contains a large collection of scale models of buildings, ships, and people carved from fig kernels by Euclides Rosa.
Mark Twain visited Horta in June 1867 near the beginning of a long pleasure excursion to Jerusalem. He described his visit with acerbic commentary on the people and culture of Horta in his semi-autobiographical book The Innocents Abroad . In the book Twain compliments Horta's physical appearance:
However, Twain painted a less complimentary picture of the inhabitants of Horta and Faial at the time:
Joshua Slocum, sailing the sloop Spray, stopped in Horta on the first leg of his solo global circumnavigation, which he chronicled in his 1899 book Sailing Alone Around the World . Jules Verne mentioned Horta in his fictional tales.
In works by Portuguese writers Vitorino Nemésio (O Corsário das Ilhas) and Raul Brandão (As ilhas Desconhecidas), Faial is a focus of the story.
The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,400 km (870 mi) west of Lisbon, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 1,930 km (1,200 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.
Santa Cruz das Flores is a municipality situated in the north half of the island of Flores, in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Situated in the sparsely populated Western Group, the population in 2011 was 2,289 inhabitants in an area that covers approximately 70.91 square kilometres (27.38 sq mi), bordering the southern municipality of Lajes das Flores.
Faial Island, also known in English as Fayal, is a Portuguese island of the Central Group of the Azores. The Capelinhos Volcano, the westernmost point of the island, may be considered the westernmost point of Europe, if the Monchique Islet, near Flores Island, is considered part of North America, for it sits on the North American Plate. Its largest town is Horta.
Angústias is one of the three freguesia that comprise the urban area of the city of Horta, on the island of Faial in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. This is an economically active, densely populated area. The population in 2011 was 2,418, in an area of 3.79 km2. Due to its commercial nature, the parish is one of the island's primary destinations for tourism, due to the concentration of historical sights and shopping. It contains the localities Caminho do Meio, Courelas, Pasteleiro, Port Pim, Termo da Igreja and Vigia.
Castelo Branco is the southern freguesia on the island Faial, in the Azores; part of the municipality of Horta. This agricultural community is primarily known for the location of the Central Group's first airport, Horta Airport. The population in 2011 was 1,309, in an area of 23.91 km². It contains the localities Canada da Santa Catarina, Cancela, Cerrado Grande, Farrobim do Norte, Grota do Meio, Jogo, Lombega, Pedreiras, Ribeira Grande and Ribeirinha.
Capelo is a freguesia in the municipality of Horta on the island of Faial in the Azorean archipelago. The population in 2011 was 486, in an area of 26.64 km².
Cedros is a freguesia in the northern part of the municipality of Horta on the island of Faial in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 907, in an area of 24.5 square kilometres (264,000,000 sq ft). The northernmost parish on the island, it is located 19 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Horta and is linked via the Estrada Regional E.R. 1-1ª roadway to the rest of the island. The tree-covered hills and pasture-lands cover the interior, and hedged farmlands extend to the Atlantic coastline cliffs, a natural plateau above the sea, that was settled by early Flemish and Spanish colonists in the late part of the 15th century. Primarily an agricultural community, the population is comparable in size to other parishes on the island, though this has decreased by half since the 1950s. Today, it remains an agricultural centre of the island of Faial, anchored by the Cooperativa Agrícola dos Lactícinios do Faial, one of the primary rural industries on the island, responsible for sales of milk, cheese and butter.
Conceição is a freguesia in the municipality of Horta in the Portuguese Azores. The population in 2011 was 1,138, in an area of 3.08 km². It is the second smallest parish within the administration of Horta.
Flamengos is a Portuguese civil parish on the island of Faial in the archipelago of the Azores. Its name was derived from the grouping of Flemish settlers who made their homes in this landlocked valley, in the municipality of Horta. The population in 2011 was 1,604, in an area of 14.62 km². It contains the localities Cruz do Bravo, Farrobo, Lameiro Grande, Rua Nova, São Lourenço and Tafoneiro.
Feteira is a civil parish in the southern part of the municipality of Horta, on the island of Faial in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 1,899, in an area of 14.46 km². It occupies the southern foothills of the Cabeço Gordo, along the coast. The name Feteira is derived from the Portuguese word for "fern", and indicates a "location of [many] ferns"; the name likely refers to the original colonists discovery of this area covered with ferns.
Matriz is a freguesia in the municipality of Horta, in the Portuguese Azores, which is part of the urbanized core of the city of Horta. The population in 2011 was 2,562, in an area of 1.81 km². It is the smallest and most populous parish on the island. It contains the localities Matriz and Dutras.
Praia do Almoxarife is a freguesia in the municipality (concelho) of Horta, of the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 834, in an area of 9.20 km². Although it was the beachhead of early settlement on the island, its population has not grown significantly since it was settled. It has become an important summer destination and tourist center for its long black sand beach.
Joost De Hurtere, also known by several transliterations was the first settler, and captain-major of the island of Faial in the Portuguese Azores. After 1482, the island of Pico was also incorporated into his captaincy. His son, Joss de Utra would later inherit the captaincy from him after his death.
Fort of Santa Cruz, is a 16th-century fortification located in the civil parish of Angústias, municipality of Horta, on the island of Faial in the Portuguese Azores. Occasionally referred to as the Castelo de Santa Cruz by locals, it is situated in the historic centre of the city, on the edge of Horta Bay. It was constructed to work in conjunction with the Fort of Bom Jesus at the mouth of the Ribeira da Conceição and Fort of Greta along the coast of the extinct spatter cone Monte da Guia, to defend the entrance to the harbour and southern access to the Bay.
The Nature Park of Faial, or simply Faial Nature Park (PNF), developed from the intention of better managing the protected areas of the island of Faial, and was instituted by the Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e do Mar, of the Autonomous Regional Government of the Azores.
The Fort of Greta is a medieval fortification, whose remnants are located on the cinder cone of Monte da Guia, along the southern coast of the civil parish of Angústias, in Horta, island of Faial, in the Portuguese Azores.
Alberto Madruga da CostaGC IH • GC M is a businessman, former politician and ex-President of the Legislative Assembly of the Azores from 1978-1979, and again in 1991-1995, including a brief span as President of the Government of the Azores, between 1995-1996.
The 1926 Horta earthquake, occurred at 8:42 a.m. on 31 August. It caused the destruction of many of the buildings located in the city of Horta, the central group of the Portuguese autonomous region of the Azores, resulting in the death of nine and the partial or complete destruction of 4,138 buildings.
Transmaçor was a sea transport/ferry operator in the Central Group of islands of the Azores, headquartered in the city of Horta, on the island of Faial.