The Portuguese discovery of the island of Faial is presumed to have occurred prior to 1460. Its first official settlers, of Flemish and Portuguese origin, arrived around 1465, establishing themselves in the parish of Flamengos.
The Dabney Family – 1804-1892
Manuel de Arriaga
Manuel José de Arriaga Brum da Silveira, the first President of the Portuguese Republic, was born in the city of Horta, on the 8th of July 1840, in Travessa de S. Francisco, in the then designated Casa do Arco, now known as Casa Manuel de Arriaga. Manuel de Arriaga was a writer and poet, and his works illustrate his island roots, his concerns and the ideals for which he always fought.
With great importance for the economy of the islands, mainly Faial and Pico, whaling developed essentially during the second half of the 19th century.
Today, it has given way to Whale Watching, whose number of visitors grows every year. Visitors who won’t return home without having this experience in the Azores, of watching, photographing and allowing themselves to feel moved by these wonderful sea creatures.
Horta, strategically located in the middle of the Atlantic, played a key role in the history of telecommunications. Due to the submarine cables, message conductors that were “tied” to Horta, it became a world centre of communication reception and transmission, and even a pioneer concerning communication between the European and the American continents.
The Azores’ location in the middle of the Atlantic was, in several ways, a boon for world progress. Here, the history of intercontinental aviation found an excellent stopover point, especially in Horta Bay, due to these facts: its geographical location, being sheltered, and having access to communications via the submarine cables.
The 1st aerial crossing of the North Atlantic with a stopover in Horta took place on May 17, 1919, by the grounding of the fragile NC4 Seaplane of the US Navy, commanded by Captain Albert C. Read.