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Trip PlannerEurope  /  Portugal  /  Azores  /  Pico  /  Sao Roque do Pico

Sao Roque do Pico

Specialty Museums · Bodies of Water · Nature & Parks
São Roque do Pico is a municipality in the northern part of the island of Pico, in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 3,388, in an area of 142.36 km².HistoryWhile the first incursions into the island occurred in the 15th century, the region that would become known as São Roque occurred later. The first colonizers of Pico came to occupy the area of Lajes, coming from the lands of the north of Portugal, because there were few anchorages in other parts of the island. What occurred in the north was starkly different: these colonizers were families from Graciosa, who would much later be supplemented by Flems from Faial, under the orders of Josse van Huerter. At this time São Roque was a peripheral jurisdiction of Lajes do Pico, and many of its religious and cultural ceremonies were centred in this municipal centre from the Convent of São Francisco.This influence of Faial would continue for much of the island's history, becoming integrated into the Captaincy (colonial administration) of its neighbour.The municipality was created in 1542, when its citizenry petitioned King John of Portugal to provide them administrative autonomy from Lajes. King John, therefore, carved from Lajes do Pico the territory of São Roque do Pico, while at the same time instituting the civil parishes of São Roque and Nossa Senhora da Ajuda. By granting this concession, the Álvares family promised to celebrate a mass once per week "...until the World lasted", which has been transmitted across their descendents.
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