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Ponta Delgada is the largest municipality and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in Portugal. It is located on São Miguel Island, the largest and most populous in the archipelago. The population in 2011 was 68,809, in an area of 232.99km². There are 17,629 residents in the three central civil parishes that comprise the historical city: São Pedro, São Sebastião, and São José. Ponta Delgada became the region's administrative capital under the revised constitution of 1976; the judiciary and Catholic see remained in the historical capital of Angra do Heroísmo while the Legislative Assembly of the Azores was established in Horta.HistoryThe origin of the placename, was elaborated by the famous Portuguese chronicler, Father Gaspar Frutuoso, wrote:In around 1450, Pêro de Teive, established a small fishing village that eventually grew into the urban agglomeration in Santa Clara.Populated since 1444, the island of São Miguel was a vast territory, with small settlements scattered about, except for Vila Franca do Campo in the central-southern coast, and the smaller community of Ponta Delgada. Villa Franca had for many years been the center of the island economically and socially, and seat of the local government, but many nobles and landed gentry despised its subordinate status to the government in that town (originating many conflicts between these inhabitants and administrators in the southern coast). The nobles in Ponta Delgada sent a secret contingent, headed by Fernão Jorge Velho, to meet with King Manuel in Lisbon to petition that the community be emancipated. In Abrantes, King Manuel conferred a foral on 29 May 1507, elevating the settlement to the status of village (vila).Explore the family-friendly attractions of Ponta Delgada and add them to your vacation plans using our Portugal vacation route planner.
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