• Calheta

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Parish of Calheta


Area: 23,47 km²
Population: 3160 inhabitants (Census 2011)
Population density: 134,8 hab/km²
Centre of the municipality 




Civil Parish founded in 1430. The name Calheta meaning cove or inlet presumably refers to the small bay that serves as port for the area. This region was chosen by João Gonçalves Zarco for the purpose of bestowing land to his children João Gonçalves da Câmara and Dona Beatriz.

It is one of the oldest civil parishes on the island and one of the first to be explored by the early settlers. With virgin land for the noble lords and knights to inhabit, their legacy lives on today in the place names of the hills that make up this region: Lombo do Doctor; Lombo da Atouguia.


Built Heritage


Church of Espírito Santo (the Holy Spirit) 


The civil parish of Calheta had its initial parish seat at the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Estrela, but it was not long before a new church was built (date unknown). Its patron became the Holy Spirit.

The ceiling of the chancel and central nave are in the Mudéjar style and the church possesses many valuables such as sacred jewellery, lamps, baptismal font, processional cross, among others dating, between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The temple still holds a tabernacle carved in ebony with exquisite silver inlays, offered by Manuel I, o Venturoso (an original part of the Islands assets). A stone in the pulpit is dated from 1639, when the church was completely rebuilt.


Church of São Francisco Xavier

The parish of São Francisco Xavier is located in Salão and was created in 1960. While the church was being built, the parish seat was located at the chapel of São Francisco Xavier. 


Chapel of São Francisco Xavier*

Old chapel located next to the parish church of Salão. It was founded by Manuel da Silva Pinheiro in 1693

* Property classified by municipal value. Decree No. 129/77 of 29 September