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Largo da Matriz, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal, 2017[open in full screen]  

 
 

Populated since 1444, the island of São Miguel, one of Azores where Ponta Delgada is located, has only small settlements scattered around, except for Vila Franca do Campo and the smaller community of Ponta Delgada. City role quickly changed when in 1522 an earthquake devastated provincial capital, and Ponta Delgada became the only centre with an infrastructure to support the Azorean bureaucracy.

 

Square is located in front of city’s main church Igreja Matriz de São Sebastião built between 1531 and 1547 on the site of a small chapel and its high tower, the only one in the city which has a clock, can be seen from far.

This urban space is part of larger pedestrianized area consisting of Praça de Gonçano Velho with Portas da Cidade towards the sea [main city gate built in 1783] , and Largo Vinsent Bensaude on the other side of the church.

  Word Matriz is usually translated as headquarters or head office, very adequate for the main city church but also for this main ceremonial urban space. This square and the rest of the city core is making quite strange impression to me, peculiar mixture of dominating, modern looking, black & white patterns on the buildings and notion that all of those are quite ancient. We have two more squares from Ponta Delgada and you can also visit gallery on our photo blog.

 
           
   
more about
evaluation method
more about
types of squares
sociability
10
ceremonial
x
uses & activities
9
religious
x
access & linkages
10
social
x
comfort
9
residential
x
image
10
court yard
x
tourist value
10
with park
x
total
58
street, shopping
x
 
           
       
           
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Last time updated on October 6, 2017 10:43