Here’s a gallery with pictures from the ruins of the church Nossa Senhora da Ajuda in Pedro Miguel, Faial Island, Azores – the church was destroyed during the 1998 earthquake.
The first record of the parish, which was named for one of the original inhabitants, dated August 7, 1590, came from a financial transaction between King Sebastian who sent the vicar 25 thousand reis (ostensibly for construction or furnishing of their church).
Pedro Miguel became a parish in 1666. In order to protect itself from surprise attacks by pirates that roamed the Canal, a small fort Forte Baixo was constructed in the 17th century.
In 1871, both a boy’s and girl’s school operated from Pedro Miguel, since the community was part of a greater district that included Ribeirinha and Praia do Almoxarife. A justice of the peace operated from this district, where the electoral assembly was also situated. The population had reached 1,757 inhabitants by this time.
During the 1998 earthquake, which hit affected the northern communities of the island, several houses were damaged and the parochial church was unusable