Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Azores, or Acores, or Western Islands, form a group of nine in the Atlantic (lat. 37° 30' N., long. 26° 0' W.). St. Michael and St. Mary are the most easterly; Terceira, Graciosa, St. George, Pico, and Fayal lie clustered together; whilst far west are the two islets of Corvo and Flores. All are of volcanic origin and are subject to earthquakes. In 1591 St. Michael's had a severe visitation, and great upheavals occurred in 1808 and 1811. Numerous hot springs are found. Discovered in the 15th century and colonised by Portugal with Flemings, they owe their name to the hawks (Port, acor) that haunted them. The Spaniards held them from 1580 to 1640, since which date they have belonged to Portugal. Their area is about 966 square miles. The soil is very fertile and bears heavy crops of wheat, maize, sugar, fruits, tobacco, and wine. The principal produce, however, consists of oranges and lemons exported to the English markets. St. Michael's and Fayal have the best harbours. Ponte Delgada, on St. Michael's, is the trade centre; Angra, on Terceira, is the seat of government, and Horta, on Fayal, is a thriving place.