October 20, 2012

0365 PORTUGAL (Azores) - Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (UNESCO WHS)


In the Azores there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (1983) and Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture (2004). About the second I wrote here, and now is the turn of the first one. Located on the island of Terceira, Angra do Heroísmo is the archipelago's oldest city and its historical capital, in nowadays being one of the three regional capitals of the Azores, together with Ponta Delgada in São Miguel and Horta in Faial.

Founded in 1450, Angra was an important port for the Portuguese East Indies trade, and at the end of the 16th century it played a key role in the dynastic crisis, because here took refuge António, Prior of Crato, pretender to the throne of Portugal, who fought a war against Philip II of Spain, who was crowned also as King of Portugal. In 1667, the King Afonso VI was exiled to Terceira for seven years by his brother, Pedro II, returning to mainland Portugal shortly before he died.

During the War of the Two Brothers (1828-1834), the liberal forces (loyal to Pedro and Maria da Gloria) established their headquarters at Angra. When Maria da Gloria became queen, added the word Heroísmo (heroism) to Angra's name, in recognition of its contribution to the liberal cause. Ngungunhane, nicknamed Lion Of Gaza, the last emperor of the Empire of Gaza (now part of Mozambique), was exiled to the island of Terceira after his rebellion was crushed by the Portuguese Army. He died at Angra do Heroísmo eleven years later, on 23 December 1906.

Angra was hit by an earthquake on 1 January 1980, probably the most serious since the 18th century, which did considerable damage to the city's historic center. The most important points of the town are the Old Square, also known as the Square of Sts. Cosmo and Damian or Restoration Square, the Fort of São João Baptista, Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Guia (Church of Our Lady of Guia), the Palacio dos Capitaes Generais (Palace of the Captains-General), and the Palacio dos Bettencourts (Palace of the Bettencourts). 

About the stamps
This maxicard is part of a series of four, dedicated to Angra do Heroismo and issued on June 4, 2001. The set was designed by Acácio Santos, with photos by Jorge de Barros.

The stamp on the back is part of a series of four dedicated to a very interesting theme, A palavra e a imagem (The word and the image), issued on February 23, 2012.

References
Angra do Heroísmo - Wikipedia
Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores - UNESCO official site
World Heritage Site: Angra do Heroísmo - Postugal, Portugal on stamps
Portugal:The word and the Image Stamp Set - Philamirror


sender: Maria do Ceu Martins (direct swap)
sent from Vila Nova de Gaia (Portugal), on 07.06.2012
photo: Jorge Barros

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