An emblematic cafe

Installed on the ground floor, the Café Internacional has been, for many years, the meeting place of the Faial elites, working as a veritable living room for the officers of the various moored ships and for the most illustrious visitors. Among these were the foreigners who ensured the operation of the Submarine Telegraph Cables connecting the city of Horta to Europe and America. Small orchestras gave musical atmosphere to the Café, such as the D.A.T. (Deutsche Atlantische Telegraphengesellschaft) of the German Company, and the Orchestra of the renowned conductor Francisco Xavier Symaria.

Keeping faithful to tradition and its history, the International Café still breathes an air of “Belle Époque”. The meeting place was where representatives of the local bourgeoisie, including the highest public and military officials linked to the Estado Novo, fraternized there. Among them, stood out António Freitas Pimentel, doctor and governor of the district of Horta.

In an elitist environment, between the main room and the terrace, with wicker tables and chairs facing Largo Infante Dom Henrique, and with the island of Pico in front, the clients of the International surrendered to a mixture of intellectual indolence and conspiracy. That was where “secret agents” had been during World War II … The cabotelegrafistas knew and discussed what was happening on the fronts of this armed conflict. In “dry law” time, white wine was sipped in teacups … And the newspaper “The Telegraph” was read and played checkers and dominoes …

In the decoration of the Café, stand out for the art deco prints and for the marble table tops. On its walls, there is an old advertisement of “Macieira”, as well as a copy of a (daring) drawing by Almada Negreiros, which tells of an accomplice love between two soldiers during World War I.

With the 25 of April of 1974, the International Café “democratized” and, being today frequented by all the social classes, it continues being one of the references of Horta city.

Victor Rui Dores