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Horta

Trip Planner Europe  /  Portugal  /  Azores  /  Faial Island  /  Horta
(4.2/5 based on 1,800+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: nature, sightseeing, museums
Horta is a single municipality and city in the western part of the Archipelago of the Azores, encompassing the island of Faial. The population in 2011 was 14,994, in an area of 173.06 km². The city of Horta itself has a population of about 7,000.The city contains the Horta Regional Museum which has a permanent exhibit, Exhibition of Capelinhos Volcano, that details in photographs the recent (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 carved by Euclides Rosa.The marina is a primary stop for yachts crossing the Atlantic, and its walls, and walkways are covered in paintings created by visitors who noted the names of their vessels, crews, and the years they visited. Peter's Cafe Sport, which is located across from the marina and houses the island's scrimshaw museum, a collection artifacts carved from whale tooth and jawbone, is a point of reference for trans-Atlantic yachtsmen and sailors.HistoryIn 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 had a small chapel built, that would later form the nucleus of a small community known as Horta (a name derived from the transliteration of his name). The infante D. Fernando, Duke of Viseu, granted Huerter the first captaincy of the island on February 2, 1468. But, the settlement of the island was not chiefly by flemish peasantry or business interests. In fact, generally, settlers to the island were from hard-working farmers from continental Portugal, willing to work hard in new lands, from a cross-section of northern Portugal. But, Huerter cultivated new business opportunities, attracting a second wave of settlers under the stewardship of Willem van der Haegen (later transliterated to Guilherme da Silveira), who brought administrators, tradesmen, settlers and other compatriots to settle on the island.
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