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Vila Franca do Campo
Vila Franca do Campo is a town and municipality in the southern part of the island of São Miguel in the Portuguese Autonomous Region of the Azores. The population of the municipality was 11,229 in 2011, in an area of 77.97 km². The town proper, which incorporates the urbanized parishes São Miguel and São Pedro, has 4100 inhabitants.HistoryVila Franca do Campo displays its municipal motto, Quis sicut deus?, on its flag and on its coat-of-arms. This Latin phrase means "Who is like God?" It is a reference to St. Michael the Archangel for whom the island of São Miguel is named; in Hebrew, the name, Michael, means "he who is like God".Founded in the middle of the 15th century by Gonçalo Vaz Botelho, the settlement was elevated to the status of vila (town) in 1472; Vila Franca do Campo quickly grew into the largest settlement and administrative seat of the island of São Miguel.The greatest tragedy to befall the Azores occurred on 20 October 1522, when a violent earthquake hit the area of Vila Franca do Campo, then capital of the archipelago and most important Azorean settlement. During the earthquake and subsequent landslide, 5000 people were killed, with then Captain-Donatário Rui Gonçalves da Câmara II escaping the tragedy: he was relaxing in his summer home in Lagoa at the time of the tragedy. Many of the residents were buried alive from a landslide and debris. Because of its destruction, the capital of São Miguel was transferred to Ponta Delgada, where the Captain-Donatário installed his administration in a residence near the Church of São Pedro. King John III eventually elevated Ponta Delgada to the status of city on 2 April 1546, attracting more and more economic activity and settlement.Make Vila Franca do Campo central to your Portugal travel plans using our Portugal trip website.
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Top Vila Franca do Campo tours
Azores Whale Watching & Islet Boat Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $66
Duration: 3 hours
Shore Excursion: Sete Cidades, Furnas or Lagoa do Fogo from Ponta Delgada BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $59
Duration: 4 hours
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Side trips from Vila Franca do Campo
Hidden gems in Vila Franca do Campo
Historic Sites in Vila Franca do Campo
Duration: 30 minutes
Outdoors in Vila Franca do Campo
Duration: 2 hours
Tours in Vila Franca do Campo
Places to visit with Vila Franca do Campo
Angra do Heroismo BEST FOR: World heritage site, Mountain, Swim with Dolphins Furnas BEST FOR: Geologic Formation, Garden, Hot Spring Praia da Vitoria BEST FOR: Lookout, Outdoor Activity, Zipline Ponta Delgada BEST FOR: Dolphin / Whale Watching, Landmark, Safari Horta BEST FOR: Specialty Museum, Geologic Formation, Dolphin / Whale Watching
Recently planned trips to Vila Franca do Campo
1 day in Vila Franca do Campo BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in Vila Franca do Campo BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 2 days in Vila Franca do Campo BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 17 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 18 days in Sao Miguel BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES September, fast-paced, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Fast-paced 1 day in Vila Franca do Campo BY A USER FROM BELGIUM June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium