This post was to be published in mid-September but, due to a lot of work since my “academic rentrée”, it stayed in draft. These are some photos of my home island – a “small corner of paradise” – in a mixture of natural exuberance and heritage (mostly from the seventeenth century onwards).
The following photo is the valley (we call it fajãs) with my home village – Fajãzinha (meaning literally a small fajã), and Fajã Grande. There is also in the small plateau at the centre the Aldeia da Cuada.
This is my home village church, the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, built in the last decades of the eighteenth century which, by the time, was the parish church of almost all wertern coast of Flores island.
The interior of the church is made of three naves, which are decorated according to the common style of late-eighteenth-century and early-nineteenth-century insular religious art. It was very pleasant to grow-up surrounded by all this colourful art, very rich when compared to other churches of the island that display a more austere and pragmatic late-nineteenth-century decoration.
The most western point of Europe in Fajã Grande. At the bottom is the ilhéu of Monchique. The last piece of rock of Europe.
One of my favourite places during those weeks is the Fajã Grande café “Papadiamandis”, named after the shipwreck of the Greek tanker in nearby Baixio, a zone with dark volcanic undersea rocks (you can see it in the first photo). Always enjoying the Portuguese-made beer called “Sagres”, which is a very important village in the South of Portugal where Infante D. Henriques established his nautical school in late fifteenth century to discover the world. The view is amazing.
The only convent founded in the island – the franciscan Convent of S. Boaventura – is located in Santa Cruz, the biggest village of the island. It was founded by the Vicar of Santa Cruz Inácio Coelho in the 1640s and it was sold in the nineteenth century following the suppression of the religious orders. It was used as hospital and school and is now the Museum of Flores.
A detail from the front of the church, were we can see the cross with the symbols of the Franciscan Order and an image of the patron of the convent, S. Boaventura.