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Site about the Azores.
Island of Terceira.
Terceira Island (port Terceira) & # 8212; the island, which is called Ilha Lilas ("lilac" or "violet" island), is part of the central group of the Azores archipelago. This is a relatively large island. It was opened third, after the islands of Santa Maria and San Miguel, the name of the island literally means "third".
Terceira is the easternmost of the islands of the central group. It is located 140 km northwest of San Miguel Island. Perimeter of the island - 90 km, length - 29 km, width - 19 km, the whole island covers an area of about 400 square kilometers. The population of the island as of 2001 is about 56,000 inhabitants.
The island is formed by four volcanoes. The oldest (300,000 years old) is Sinku-Pikush, which forms the eastern part of the island. It has a crater 7 km in diameter and is one of the largest in the Azores. The second volcano Gilgerme Moniz (age about 100 000 years) is located in the south-central part of the island, has a crater height of 623 meters. In the north there is the volcano Picu Alto (age 60 000 years). It once also had a crater, but subsequent eruptions filled it with several smaller lava cupolas. Its peak is located at an altitude of 808 m. The youngest and only active volcano is Santa Barbara, which is located on the west of the island and is the highest. Its peak is at an altitude of 1,023 meters. This volcano is formed by two craters, the youngest of which formed about 15,000 years ago. The eruptions of Santa Barbara occurred in 1761, 1867 and 1998-2000.
The western part of the island is characterized by the presence of relatively dense woody vegetation in comparison with its eastern part, which is due to the prevalence of western winds, which bring more precipitation.
Away from the coast, the island becomes wild, and a hilly terrain with numerous hiking trails that cross the entire central part of Terceira is mostly a reserve.
The island is rich in picturesque landscapes: green pastures, forests with lush vegetation, blue lakes, panoramic ridges, coastal rocks, volcanic craters and grottoes, caves with stalactites and stalagmites.
Administrative structure of the island.
The island is divided into two municipalities - Angra do Heroismo and Vila da Praia da Vitoria.
Initially, the island was called Brazil. This name appeared in the Venetian maps compiled by Andrea Bianco. However among the colonists the name "The Third Island" - Terceira was fixed.
Terceira was a port where Spanish galleons, filled with fabulous treasures from Peru and Mexico, stayed until about 1640. With the restoration of Portugal's independence, the Spaniards were expelled, and life returned to normal. However, Terceira maintained his position as an economic, administrative and religious center in the Azores prior to the beginning of the 19th century. The struggle that accompanied the introduction of liberalism forced Terceira to play an important role in the history of Portugal. The island has maintained liberal views since 1820. During the Civil War of 1828-1834 the island became the main base for the liberals. It was from this island that Antonio Jose (de Souza, Duke of Terceira, Count Villaflor, 1792-1860) in 1829 launched a military campaign against the absolutists, capturing first the Azores, and then landed in Portugal, defeated the enemy forces and in 1834, capturing Lisbon , put an end to the war.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a gradual decrease in the role of Terceira in the life of the Azores. However, the construction of a commercial port in Praia da Vitoria, the existence of an important air base with the subsequent agreement and lease of a large area under the US airbase and the modernization of the international airport have opened new prospects for Terceira. It is interesting that on March 16, 2003, US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Barroso met to discuss the invasion of Iraq, which began four days later, 20 March 2003.
The island's economy is focused primarily on cattle breeding and plant growing, in addition, the tourist infrastructure is considerably developed.
Originally, Terceira's economy revolved around agriculture, mainly due to the production and export of grain and wajda. Terceira began to play an important role in the history of navigation during the 15th and 16th centuries, becoming a port and a parking lot for the trade galleons of America and ships engaged in trade with India. During this period, Terceira became a large center trading gold, silver, diamonds and spices brought from other continents. This circumstance attracted to the island the French, English and Flemish corsairs, who constantly attacked its coasts for several centuries.
The island has two seaports in Angra do Heroismo and Vila da Praia da Vitoria. The Portuguese military base Lajes is also located here. On the territory of the military base is the international airport receiving and civil aviation. The island is connected to the island of San Miguel by ferry service.
Numerous taxi cabs on the island, which can be easily distinguished by their cream color with two wide blue stripes near the rear passenger door, are in very good condition. Most drivers speak English, but they drive quite casually.
Be very careful if you decide to rent a car and drive yourself. Animals have a privileged right on the road, although they are found only in the interior rural areas of the island.
Attractions Terceira.
Sao Mateus da Calheta is a picturesque fishing village. Here are the forts Grande and Negrito, remaining from the former fortifications, established all over the island to protect against the Spanish invasion (XVI century.). Two picturesque imparios or chapels Holy Ghost (XIX century.). The whaling station, described by the Prince of Monaco - Albert in the XIX century, which existed in Negrito. Places to visit: Parish Church; Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Luz. Santa Barbara is a parish church, a 15th century building rebuilt in later times. Gold-plated relief work on wood. Picture of St. Barbara, in stone from ARQA. Close to the church is imp�rio Holy Ghost (XIX century). Vila Nova is a characteristic village for the island of Terceira. On the neighboring Agualva creek there are many old water mills that perfectly fit into the green landscape. Interesting imp�rio Holy Ghost (XIX century.). Places to visit: the church Divino Espirito Santo. Fontinhas & # 8212; the Church of Nossa Senhora da Pene. The building of the 16th century, which was heavily rebuilt in the 19th century. The main throne, cut woodwork, decorative tiles give it an unforgettable look. Also worthy of attention is the chapel Santo Antonio, which was built in the XIX century. Lajes - the old village where the air base was located, which played an important role in the Allies antisubmarine campaign during World War II, it also served as a support point for several air operations against Axis forces. Today it is part of the Atlantic defense system. Places to visit: the church of Sao Miguel Arcanjo and Casa do Espanhol. Sao Sebastiao - the place of the first settlement on the island. An old, traditional city that received its charter in 1503. The most beautiful imparios or chapel of Holy Ghost (XIX century.), With numbers. Places to visit: the church of Sao Sebastiao and the chapel of Santa Ana. Ribeirinha - the church of Sao Pedro, a building of the XVI century, which was expanded in the XVIII century. The main throne, the gilded cut woodwork of the 16th century, the depiction of Christ adorn this monument of architecture. In the village there are four imparios Holy Ghost, three of which date back to the 19th century. Galleons, shipwrecks and treasures. Not far from the shore of Terceira are the remains of fast caravels and other vessels engaged in African trade, large galleons from Peru and the East, warlike frigates with a bright bronze cannon. These ships have turned the coast into a hidden museum of memory of the past, about struggle and suffering, hope and danger.
Holidays and festivals.
The Festival of the Holy Spirit takes place throughout the island of Terceira.
Associated with the Franciscan mysticism and the charitable spirit of Queen Elizabeth of Portugal (16th century), the Festivals of the Holy Spirit arrived in the Azores with the first settlers. Emigrants, devoted to Brazil, America and Africa, have preserved the old ceremonies, which are now repeated in all their traditional splendor. Festivals of the Holy Spirit are also held in Hawaii, where there is a large Azorean community. The charity goal of the festival is distribution of food to the needy.
Festival of St. John or "Festival of the City"
Associated with the traditions of the so-called Popular Saints - St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter - over time these festivals were turned into festivals with live "bullfighting on the ropes" in the streets and with the views of the bullfighters riding a horse or on foot on arena. The festival of St. John usually includes an ethnographic procession with old tools of farm labor, folk costumes and typical vehicles called carros de toldo. Are held in the city of Angra De Heroism.

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