guide to visit
This is the plainest department in all the Island, yet here is situated the Serra de Água de Pau Mountain Range, and the highest altitude in Barrosa Peak at 947 meters high-
The colonization in Ribeira Grande was made probably in the end of the 15th century, assembling populations due to the big streamlet that named the location (Ribeira Grande = big streamlet) and helps the fertility and irrigation of the soils. It was in the 20th century that Ribeira Grande got more development, becoming the most important economical centre in the north side of the island, developing its agricultural, commercial and also industrial unities.
This is a region of great natural heritage and also architectonic, presenting a gracious urban centre with its typical houses with great gothic and manueline testimonies and also monuments such as the lovely and typical town hall building dated from the 17th century, the wonderful Espírito Santo Church, or Church of Mercy or Senhor dos Passos, probably dated from the 18th century, the Estrela Church or even the popular Aqueduct.
Throughout the region there are several manor houses that reflect the economical power of the region, as it is observable in the Culture House, situated in the wonderful São Vicente Manor House.
The Vale das Lombadas Natural Reserve shows off the unique natural beauty of this territory, in a profound greenish valley where are situated the water springs of the much appreciated Lombadas mineral waters.
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