The House of the Azores in Lisbon is an association that was founded on the 27th March of 1927. It was declared an Institution of Public Service by a Decree published on the 12th April 1928. It is a Member of the Order of Infant D. Henrique since 1989.
The idea of a creating a society constituted by Azoreans residing in mainland Portugal dates back to 1881 but attempts at establishing such a society did not succeed until 1925.
One such attempt took place in 1884 with the formation of the “Azorean League”, a joint project of Azoreans and Madeirans. The League was a public entity that had its statutes approved by the Civilian Government of Lisbon in the following year.
However, the faltering commitment of its members and a lack of resources dictated its extinction soon thereafter. A similar fate befell the “Society of Azorean Studies”, founded in 1907, an organization that gathered prominent public figures, among them Teófilo Braga.
The project that originated the current House of Azores began in 1925. The commission charged with the task of writing its statutes met for the first time on the 29th of November of that year. Preparatory work continued thereafter until the Spring of 1927.
On the 27th March of that year, a general assembly met at the Lisbon Geographic Society and approved the statutes that had been recently concluded.
The Guild of Azores was thus born. In the following year, a Decree published by the Portuguese Government on the 12th of April 1928 declared it an Institution of Public Service, an honorable distinction that was conferred for the first time ever to a guild.
In 1938, the name “Guild of Azores” was replaced by “House of the Azores” by virtue of a legal restriction that reserved the designation of a guild to state entities.
In 1989, His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic awarded the Order of the Infant D. Henrique to the House of the Azores.
The Head Office
At the time of its foundation, the House of the Azores was provisionally installed in the newsroom of the Gazeta dos Caminhos de Ferro, situated on the street HortaSeca (1927). From 1927 until 1928, it was located at the Lisbon Geographic Society (1927-8). Later, it moved to a floor situated at the Avenida da Liberdade (1928-31). Its next provisional head office was then moved to a floor at Praça de Camões, remaining there for only a few months. Later, it was moved to a building in Rua Castilho, where it remained for a long time (1932-67). Its address changed thirty-five years later, to a floor in RuaCecílio de Sousa (1967-70). It remained there until 1970, year in which its present home was acquired, a palace at Rua dos Navegantes (Lapa).