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Subdivisions of Azores (Portugal)

Last modified: 2001-08-16 by antonio martins
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Municipalities

Azores contains 19 municipalities:

The hawk holding a quina in municipal heraldry stand for the Azores — these charges appear in nearly all the azorean municipal coats of arms.
Jorge Candeias, 31 May 1998

The problem is that every azorean municipal coat of arms with that goshawk (15 out of 19 municipalities) shows it a little different — and often the same coat of arms has appreciable differences in various depictions.
António Martins, 29 Mar 1999

Algarvan heads and azorean goshawk are the only distinctive regional charges in our municipal heraldry (plus the star in the municipalities of the Estrela Range region, though in a much lesser degree), having all the other charges a more local / historical character. The reasons for this are different, I think. Although in the Algarve what happens is that it used to be a de jure separate kingdom under a personal union with Portugal until the 20’s of the last century, thus having it's own set of symbols (although no flag, as far as I know), in my humble opinion the goshawk derives from the obvious graphical expression of the name of the islands, since I don’t think they ever had arms until they became autonomous in the ’70s.
Jorge Candeias, 31 Mar 1999


Islands

The natural divisions of the Azores are the three island groups and the islands themselves. (List by order of discovery:)

As far as I know, neither of these island groups or individual island has nor had any distinct flag or coat of arms — except naturaly for those islands which consist of a single municipality (Corvo, [Santa Cruz da] Graciosa and Vila do Porto / Santa Maria).
António Martins, 23 Jul 2001


Districts

In 1978 the Azores became an Autonomous Region and the azorean districts where supressed.
Jorge Candeias, 31 May 1998

From 1938 to 1978, the archipelago was divided into three districts, quite equivalent (except in area) to those in the portuguese mainland. The division was quite arbitrary, and didn’t follow the natural island groups, rather reflecting the location of each district capital on the three main cities (neither of each on the western group). As far as I know, neither of these districts had any distinct flag or coat of arms.
António Martins, 23 Jul 2001





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