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Graciosa

Culture of Graciosa. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

There are no pieces of architecture older than five-and-a-half centuries old here on to Graciosa Island. The reason is simple: the archipelago is located quite far from the mainland, so nobody was living here before Portuguese navigators came. The colonization of the island started in the second quarter of the 15th century. Ordinary Portuguese looking for a better life as well as bourgeois who were hoping to start their own manufacture were the first one who came here. However, the island was gradually becoming significant as a seaport on the route between the Old and the New World.
Despite the fact that Graciosa Island is not the most popular destination among European fans of active holidays, still, there are diverse activities besides just local attractions. For … Open
Besides, there was a true pirate fiefdom here in the 16th-17th centuries. The island was controlled by Spain, and Spanish and English privateers were fighting each other in the local waters to the death and, of course, attacking merchant vessels too. There even still some ships lying in the local area which sank in those times. And when it’s really stormy, equipment and cargo wreckages can be washed up on the shore. Locals can offer you to buy ancient compasses or spyglasses, however, all the really precious stuff is exhibited in the local museum or was sent to the mainland. Nevertheless, if you can snorkel, you have a chance to see those sunken ships with your own eyes.
So, you can have a closer look at those things which were found and are still here in the Graciosa Ethnographical Museum. Household items of the first settlers, crafts made by locals, pieces of casual and special occasion clothes are exhibited there. What is more, there is an exposition dedicated to the emergence and development of winemaking on the island. It’s pretty clear though as first settlers were already doing it. Another part of the exhibition is devoted to whaling, as it used to be the locals’ main occupation just about several decades ago. It was prohibited in the 80s owing to the extreme decline of the whale population. In addition, you can learn something peculiar about local celebrations in the museum. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The beaches of the Graciosa Island are lengthy. Almost all of them are covered with pure white sand. It is noteworthy that a significant part of the coast is available for water activities … Open
One of the most beautiful organs in the Azores and, as many travelers say, the whole Portugal is also kept here on Graciosa Island. If you’d like to see it, come to Vila da Praia and find São Matéus church (also highly nice). The gorgeous organ was placed right there in the year 1793. Furthermore, carved benches and the cathedra’s décor are extremely lovely as well.
If you’re more fond of the monument’s ancient history, not the aesthetical aspect, we would recommend you to go to Guadalupe Island. There is a homonymous church there which was built in the 16th century. The cathedral is still in proper condition, even though it has never been reconstructed or restored.
On the Graciosa Island, there are only three hotels and each of them attractive in their own way. For holidaymakers who got used to staying at the highest-level hotel, the hotel Graciosa is … Open
In case you’re keen on unusual religious architecture of Graciosa Island, come to Saint Croix (the northern part of the island). There are three chapels in the town. The first one is dedicated to John the Baptist (Ermida de S. João), the second one to Holy Savior (Ermida de São Salvador), the third one to Mother of God (Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Ajud). The last one is a great example of fortification religious architecture. There is also a pilgrims’ house adjoins the church. Here you can see old Cruz da Barra Graciosa cross and Santo Cristo church (16th century). The narrow city centre streets are already several centuries old so you can just walk around the city and immerse into architecture.
Graciosa There are diverse pieces of art constructed by European architectures. It has to do with the necessity to supply inhabitants with drinking and process water. It creates a whole chain of semi-underground reservoirs and aqueducts. Local Flemish mills with red domes (typical for Graciosa) are extremely marvellous too. And there is a lot of such mills, as people used to produce great amounts of cereal. Besides, country houses of 16th, 17th, and 18th century have also survived up to date. Then, there are lots of buildings dated back to the 18th century in the local harbour. In that period twice more ships (in comparison to the previous century) started to come here due to the fast development of trade relations between the USA, Africa and Europe.
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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Graciosa

Landmarks of culture on Graciosa map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Graciosa

Culture guide to Graciosa. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Graciosa: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Graciosa. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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