Discovered in 1461 but populated in the early 15th Century Sao Nicola’s mountainous regions proved challenging for those who settled there to farm
and breed livestock.
The inhabitants of the island were under threat of attack until a fortress was built inland in 1818. Prior to this, pirates from Holland, England and France took advantage of the lack of protection the island and islanders could provide against plunder.
In the 1860’s a new school was opened which was run by Canons and Priests. The school was attached to a seminary. Those that attended the school came from other Cape Verdean islands and were well educated in a number of subjects. The seminary closed in 1931.
Monte Gordo is the highest point on the island. The cultivated valley of sugar cane beans, maize and bananas that is hidden away makes a change to the rest of the landscape which is made up of stone, desert and reforestation.
Sao Nicolau and Soa Vicente were the two main islands that lead the way with the uprisings of the 20th century.