Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

General Information

Regional secretariat

Administrative status

Chief city of the Island of Terceira

Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores

Registration Year


Historical function

Defensive and commercial

Location and site

Angra do Heroísmo, situated in the middle of the Azores archipelago in the heart of the Atlantic, is protected from prevailing winds by a series of hills. Opening on to two natural bays of the Island of Terceira, it was on the transoceanic sailing route.

Urban morphology

The layout of the principal streets leading to the port dates to the 16th century, around the time when Angra do Heroísmo was founded. The rectilinear plan is unique in its ability to adapt, through the reorientation of streets, to the direction of the prevailing winds.

The small city has the appearance of a Portuguese trading post. Two forts, San Sebastiao (end of 16th century) and São João Baptista (16th-17th centuries), frame its port zone. Numerous monuments (churches and convents) of Baroque inspiration, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, make up a dense urban fabric. Two-storey dwellings with painted wood balconies exemplify Brazil’s Portuguese architectural heritage.

Registration criteria

Criterion (iv): Set in the mid-Atlantic, the port of Angra, obligatory port-of-call for fleets from Africa and the Indies, is an outstanding example of a creation linked to the maritime world, within the framework of the great explorations;

Criterion (vi): Like the Tower of Belem, the Convent of the Hieronymites of Lisbon, and Goa, Angra do Heroísmo is directly and tangibly associated with an event of a universal historic significance: the maritime exploration which permitted exchanges between the great civilizations of the Earth.

Historical reference

  • The discovery of the Azores, like that of Madeira and Cape Verde Islands, took place under the Aviz Dynasty of Portugal during the great maritime expeditions led by Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460).
  • In the 15th century, the Kingdom of Portugal rerouted the gold trade, which had followed the caravan routes of the Sahara, to the Atlantic Ocean. Early in the next century, the Asiatic ports of Goa and Melaka were taken over by the Portuguese in 1510 and 1511 respectively.
  • From the time of its foundation, the double port of Angra do Heroísmo was fortified. During the period of intercontinental European expansion and emigration to the New World, its oceanic port possessed major strategic importance. Brazil was discovered in 1500.
  • In 1534, Angra do Heroísmo attained the status of a city and was named the Episcopal Seat of the Azores.
  • After advances in navigation about two centuries ago led to the loss of Angra do Heroísmo’s role as a port of call, its urban landscape ceased to evolve.



12 June 2015

Meeting of the Board of Directors in Angra do Heroismo, Azores

Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

27 March 2015

Project Meeting RESM-OWHC. Angra do Heroísmo (Portugal)

Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

Southern Europe and Mediterranean

13 March 2015

Meeting Projects Program Angra do Heroísmo

Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

Southern Europe and Mediterranean

30 December 2014

Project Meeting SRES-OWHC. Angra do Heroísmo

Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

Southern Europe and Mediterranean


Mr. José Gabriel do Álamo Meneses

Câmara Municipal Angra do Heroismo

Praça Velha
Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal

+351.295 212 105
[email protected]

Ms. Raquel Caetano Ferreira

Deputy Mayor
City Hall of Angra do Heroismo

Praça Velha
Angra do Heroismo, Portugal

+351.295 401 704/5
[email protected]