A Building with

A Building with History

This building, inaugurated on December 31, 1926 and located on the corner of Rua Conselheiro Medeiros and Largo Infante Dom Henrique (previously called Largo Neptuno), combines a sophisticated style with elements of “art deco” architecture.

This building was closely linked to the period of the “hydraviation”, and in the 30s of the 20th century it housed the office of the famous “Fabre Line”, a maritime shipping company, represented by the industrialist José Furtado Cardoso.

Due to its excellent geo-strategic location, Horta, a port city, was the scene of experimental and pioneering flights. Let’s see how, when and by whom.

On May 17, 1919, he tied the United States Navy’s “NC 4” seaplane under Captain Lieutenant Albert Read fied, to Horta Bay, which served as the first stage of the inaugural flight from Trepassey (Newfoundland) to Plymouth, England. Then followed in 1927 other heroic sea landings: the Italian Francesco de Pinedo, aboard the hydroplane “Santa Maria II”; the aviator Lilil Dillenz, an Austrian by birth, aboard the German hydro “Junker D 1230” and who would come to fraternize with another aviator arrived in Horta: the American Ruth Elder in his airplane “American Girl”, both having been targeted attention.

In 1928 it was the turn of the seaplane “G-CAJI” of the British Frank Courtney and, in that same year, the hydroplane “La Frégate”, of the Frenchman Paulin de Paris. Make sea landings at Horta bay a year later it would cause general astonishment the German seaplane “Dornier DO X” as well as the squadron planes headed by Italian Italo Balbo.

On June 4, 1930, the people from Faial were astonished to see the “Graf Zeppelin LZ127”, the giant German airship coming from the United States and flying the first aerial photograph of the city of Horta.

On November 21 of 1933 arrives at Horta, accompanied by his wife, Charles Lindbergh, the ace of aviation, in his “Lockheed Sirius, to evaluate the conditions of the bay of Horta for future Pan American transatlantic careers. The years 1936 and 1937 are marked by the powerful Lufthansa “Nordmeer”, “Nordwind” and “Nordstern” seaplanes that would be catapulted from Horta to New York.

On March 21, 1939, Pan American Airways began a regular career in seaplanes, the so-called clippers, which, until the end of 1945, had scaled Horta in a historic and spectacular way.

Along with all this, it should be borne in mind that Horta, the mooring point for submarine telegraph cables from the end of the 19th century, was used as a naval base during the two great World Wars. An impressive foreign community of Englishmen, Americans, Germans and Italians settled in Horta, leaving social, cultural and sporting influences.

Porto host, today Horta will no longer be “the largest small city in the world”, in the words of the poet Pedro da Silveira. But its Marina (inaugurated on June 3, 1986) is considered the first in Portugal, the second in Europe and the fourth in the world in terms of the movement of pleasure boats. For many it is the most international oceanic marina in the world. Around here sailors and sailors from all over the world (the yachtsmen) contribute, thus reinforcing a second moment of cosmopolitanism of the city.

Victor Rui Dores