Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Azores, Ponta Delgada -The Fort of São Bras, the Municipal City Hall, the Gates of the city and the Church of São Sebastião - The 9th of December 2013


Although it was still raining as I walked out of the Church of São José it was in no way as bad as it had been earlier, so I decided to continue walking into the centre of the city.

Just across the road from the church the Fort of São Bras said to have been built in 1552 to protect the island against the privateers' invasions.

A little bit farther on the Municipal City Hall with its Bell Tower and the statue of the archangel Michael, the patron Saint of the island of São Miguel proudly standing in front of it.

The  eighteenth century Gates of the city could be seen on the main square between the Municipal City Hall and the Church of São Sebastião. Being the ex libris of the city several Portuguese Kings and other important figures are said to have walked under them.

The whole surrounding atmosphere looked grey and for no apparent reason I seemed to feel alike. Rain kept on falling and despite having got used to it by then I decided to look for shelter in the majestic church of São Sebastião trusting there would be some comfort.

It was undeniably imposing on the outside with its mingled Gothic Manueline style but the greatest surprise came as I walked in. Photos were once more not allowed which I felt was a real pity because no words will ever be able to describe its interior decorated altar pieces and overall richness.

I came across several pilgrim like worshippers soaked to the bones and wearing sandals. It didn't take long to realise that they were coming form a cruising ship at berth and like myself were looking for a temporary tourist shelter.

(To be continued)

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