Beauties of Azores: Capelas, picturesque little town with bloody past
Hi there my Steemian friends and followers!
Welcome to my special weekly series called Beauties of Azores that was created by me to raise awareness of the extraordinary charm of a captivating Portuguese archipelago known as the Azores.
This time around, we will take a closer look at one of the nice little towns found on the Sao Miguel Island, the town of Capelas.
Situated on the northern coast of the island, Capelas occupies an area of some 17 sq km (6.5 sq mi) and is currently home to approximately 4,000 people. Founded at the end of the 16th century, Capelas is not your typical tourist town but it still boasts some interesting landmarks and places that I am going to share with you through the following photos.
Let me start out with the natural landmarks of Capelas. The town is perched on majestic volcanic cliffs towering up to over 100 m (330 ft) above the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean so it comes as no surprise that the place offers some breathtaking landscape and seascape views.
There are several great viewpoints to be found along the coast of Capelas. These spots are known as miradouros in the Portuguese language and they are well maintained and marked. These steps lead to one of them. The plants lining the path are aloe vera. I was surprised to find them blooming this beautifully even now in January :)
Installed into a massive wall on the top of one of the viewpoints, this shipwreck is another famous landmark of Capelas.
I have not really figured out the meaning behind this strange "statue" but I guess it just has something to do with the fact that Capelas has always been an important fishing center of the island.
Not the most impressive landmark I have seen for sure but it does look quite interesting from distance.
Talking about the fishing history of Capelas, this town actually also used to be one of the island´s hubs of whaling. This bloodstained industry was one of the crucial parts of local economy for long decades and it was not until the 1980´s when the Portuguese government finally banned this practice. The last whale was killed in 1987 on the Azores and it was not even here on Sao Miguel but on the Pico Island. To commemorate this part of local history, the Capelas authorities had this statue built in the center of the town.
The sculpture is located on the main square, right in front of the church. The fisherman on the right is pointing to the ocean that is actually just a few hundred meters away.
The square is a nice cozy place with beautiful trees and plants and several benches to sit on and enjoy some spiritual moments while contemplating local history and looking at the majestic parochial church in the background.
Built in the 18th century, the church is called Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Apresentacao which translates as The Church of Our Lady of Presentation. It is a typical Azorean church with simple design, mostly black and white coloration and a large bell tower.
My last photo captures a panoramic view of Capelas. As you can see, the town is surrounded by beautiful green hills so once you get enough of the sea views and the town itself, feel free to head out to the enchanting nature that can be found right outside of it ;)
I hope you enjoyed this episode of my Beauties of Azores series that was dedicated to the interesting coastal town of Capeles, its culture and history. All of the photos featured in this post were taken by me.
If you want to learn more about this exquisite Portuguese archipelago and its charms, stay tuned for the next episodes of my Beauties of Azores series ;)
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