The development of whale hunting brought whaling fleets to Horta during the whole 19th century. The whalers would take shelter at Porto Pim to rest their crews and recruit Azorean harpooners and rowers, famous for their courage and skill. In those days the streets of Horta were full of sailors who would break the peace of the night with their shouts and lively songs. The construction of a pier, started in 1876, attracted steamships which took on coal at Horta.
A new phase in the life of Faial began in 1893 with the laying of a submarine cable linking Horta to Lisbon and from there to the rest of the world. This was followed by other cables which transformed Horta into one of the main telegraphic communications centres of the first half of the 20th century. The first transatlantic flight stopped over at Horta in 1919, as did the majestic Pan American clippers from 1939 to 1945. A naval base in the two world wars, Horta was one of the ports used by the Allied fleet at the time of the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
One of the centres of the Regional Administration and the seat of the Azorean Parliament, Horta is a white town framed by the blue sea. Yachts from all over the world are anchored here, the present reflection of its age-old vocation to serve as a cosmopolitan port where the paths of men of different races and languages meet.
Places to visit:
Parish Church of São Salvador; Church of São Francisco; Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo; Church of Nossa Senhora das Angustias; Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Pilar; lmperio dos Nobres; Clock Tower; Santa Cruz Castle; Fortified Gate of Porto Pim; Walls of Sao Sebastiao; Historic centre; Museum of Sacred Art; Horta Museum; Monte da Guia.