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Forte Horta Pousada

Horta recounts stories of navigators, whalers, pirates and corsairs; a place fashioned by the sea. Located on the island of Faial and situated in the heart of the town, the Santa Cruz Fort is now a pousada, preserving the memory of such maritime wonders.

Built in 1567, the fort was constructed to protect the town from pirate attacks, which were a frequent occurrence on the Azorean islands at the time. Classified in 1947 as a national monument, 22 years later it became a pousada, designed by the architect Alberto Cruz. In 2004, more than three decades later, it reopened as a Pousada de Portugal, after a period of rebuilding and restoration. Only the outer walls remain of the fort’s original 16th-century defence system. The five centuries of history don’t seem to have aged the place, nor the spiral staircase in the garden, which used to offer direct access to the sea, and is still used by yachtsmen during high season.

The furniture bears the weight of the pousada’s history, as do the framed cartographic maps hanging on the walls, marking the Portuguese navigators’ maritime crossings.

Equally Portuguese are the tiles flanking the entrances to the room, which can also be seen in the chapel located in the garden. Here, the endemic Azorean flowers decorate the entire outdoor area overlooking the marina, keeping the modern features of the pool and terrace company.

To enjoy the island’s cuisine, there’s a bar and a restaurant with local fish, meat and cheese. Unsurprisingly, the sea is ever-present and can be seen from every window.

Forte Horta Pousada

The pousada that was built to protect the island from pirates and is now a national monument.

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