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Cedros

Trip Planner Europe  /  Portugal  /  Azores  /  Faial Island  /  Cedros
Cedros is a civil parish 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 24.54 km². The northernmost parish on the island, it is located 19km 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 (when there were approximately 2000 inhabitants). 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.HistoryThe history of the settlement of Cedros was tied to the failure of the Flemish nobleman Josse van Huerter's first expedition in 1466 to the island. Abandoned by Huerter, some members of his failed expedition were joined by settlers from Terceira and Spain whom explored and settled along the northern coast of Faial.The origin of the name Cedros comes from the local cedars (the Cedros-das-Ilhas or Cedros-do-Mato) found in the pasture-lands and forests of the area. In addition to the cedars, along the numerous river-valleys (especially Ribeira Funda, Ribeira Pinheiro and Ribeira Sousa) they encountered species of Pine, Juniper, flowering plants (such as the family Adoxaceae), laurel, Buckthorn, and Ginger Lily, as well as other broad-leaf plants. Close access to potable water allowed the settlers to develop small tracts of land, build homes of ubiquitous volcanic rock and cultivate a subsistence lifestyle: a few animals (cows, lambs or goats) and a small vegetable garden. The introduction of wheat allowed the development of a small local export industry.
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