PICO ISLAND, THE AZORES’ SHIPYARD

The island of Pico, besides its rich natural heritage, namely its vineyard culture landscape that is considered World Heritage by UNESCO, also holds a beautiful cultural heritage that enhances the values and history of this island and its people.

Vines from Pico Island

Thus, the Wine Museum, the Whaling Industry Museum and the Whalers Regional Museum stand out as centres that gather an important legacy and that tell the story of this island, such as the whaling that marked all the people of picoense, to all those who visit and especially to the younger generations.

 

Wine Museum, Pico island
 Pico Wine Museum, Madalena do Pico island

Whaling Industry Museum, São Roque do Pico

Whaling Industry Museum, São Roque do Pico

 

In terms of architecture, on this island you can see a set of typical Azorean churches, such as the church of Santa Maria Madalena, requalified in the mid-nineteenth century and considered a temple of great magnificence on the island, which is distinguished by its two majestic towers and its tiles. The mills distributed all over the island are structures that embellish the landscape of the island and reinforce its rural aspect. The presence of military architecture can also be felt in the Forte de Santa Catarina, at Lajes do Pico, dating from the 16th century, which was built to defend the island from possible attacks by pirates and corsairs.

Santa Maria Madalena Church, Madalena do Pico
Inside the Church of Santa Maria Madalena
Santíssima Trindade Church, Lajes do Pico
Mills of Pico
Mills of Pico
  Santa Catarina Fort, Lajes do Pico
  Santa Catarina Fort, Lajes do Pico

 

In a more civil architecture, we cannot forget that the vine culture had a great influence in this sector, this is remarkable with the presence of the 18th and 19th century manor houses, built to serve as temporary housing for the vineyard owners, which are characterized by rigid traces and support structures such as tide well, winery and warehouse. In these architectural structures, the presence of the volcanic facet is obvious through the volcanic stone walls of the wine cellars, for example, as well as in many dwellings. Another characteristic aspect of this island are the “maroiços” in the Madalena area, loose stones piled up in the shape of a pyramid, which were placed there when the land was cleared for agriculture, remaining there until today.

Influence of Vine Culture on architecture
Wine Cellar in the parish of Prainha, Pico
“Maroiços” in Pico Island

 

Regarding handicraft, in Pico Island, naval construction has always been part of the history and culture of this people, and Santo Amaro is the most important centre for the construction of boats in the Azores.

 Naval construction in Pico
Naval construction in Pico
Published on 26 February, 2021