Cultural heritage

Get to know our cultural heritage


In Nordeste, the churches are structures that can stand out by their magnificent white façades laborously detailed with the local volcanic grey basalt stone and they easily contrast in relation to the surrounding small houses and green pastures.
Both the churches, within the urban areas, as well as the chapels introduced in the most remote places keep traditions and legends since the time of the island's settlement.
Currently, most churches open only for the celebration of masses on Sundays, with the exception of the Matriz de São Jorge, in Vila de Nordeste and another few parishes.

Water fountains

The population was supplied with water by the local water fountains, which was then storaged and then carried in clay containers by women who frequently traveled to them to obtain supplies of such important liquid.
Until the 20th century, the fountain had a social and cultural role, being a meeting place that started up conversation, socialization and even dating. You will find fountains in all the parishes, the most recent ones from the Estado Novo period.


On August 1st, 1831, the liberal troops arrived at São Miguel Island, having entered through Achadinha parish coming in from Terceira island, in the final attack against the last Miguelist stronghold (the absolutists) in the Azores. The event is marked in the parish, in an obelisk located next to Estrada Regional road.


The name “treato” is an alliteration of the word theater. It refers to a small building intended for the worship of the Holy Spirit.
You will find these small buildings in several parishes and with varying construction dates.

Water Mills

The water mills of Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park (see Parks and Gardens) are one of the most beautiful mill sets in the Azores, which are nowadays part of the splendid leisure park where you will find detailed information about the old mills and their related activities.
In the Jardim da Ribeira do Guilherme (see Parks and Gardens), you will find two other mills, one of which is working nowadays as an accommodation. On the same stream, inserted in the camping site, is another mill, adapted as a supporting structure for the the camping park, followed by two others, just below the park, privately owned but possible to observe up close.
In the access to Portinho da Achada-Santana (see Beach and Bathing Areas) you can observe from outide three other windmills that resisted to time, which are privately owned and they function as seasonal housing.
Another private mill is located between the parishes of Salga and Achadinha. To visit the place, you must enter the pedestrian path just after Ribeira das Coelhas, from the Regional Road, in the direction Salga-Achadinha, or take the Standard Walking Trail of Alminhas / Salto da Farinha (PR21SMI).

Lime kiln

This is one of the four lime kilns copies that still remain in Nordeste. Despite being in ruins, it is recognized as an ethnographic testimony of a local industrial process that is important to preserve. To visit the property, you should follow the signs next to the Estrada Regional road between Lomba da Fazenda and Vila do Nordeste.

Casa de Trabalho

Founded in 1954, by Maria do Carmo Monte, its purpose was originally from the start to welcome and instruct young women in the municipality, through the recovery of traditional looms, sewing, embroidery and sewing. Currently, it is the largest and most representative crafts house that preserves the tradition of weaving in São Miguel.
See Handicraft.

Seven Arches' Bridge

One of the most beautiful bridges on the Island, with its seven stone arches. Known locally as “Viaduto”, it was project implemented by the engineering major António Augusto de Sousa e Silva. It is located near the Town Hall, in Vila de Nordeste's center.

Town Hall

The county hall was built in the place where "Casa da Câmara", a former and simpler administrative structure, used to exist. It is the most important work of the municipality in terms of civil architecture of the 19th century (completed in 1877), by the hand of Nordeste’s illustrious resident António Alves de Oliveira.

Arnel Lighthouse

The Arnel Lighthouse, established in 1876, is the first and largest in the Azores, resembling an eagle perched on a cliff platform, due to its location and architecture.
See Museums.

Praça da República S/N
9630 - 141 Nordeste


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