Initially it was called ‘Quinta das Angústias’, perhaps due to the fact that the chapel annexed to the main building was known as ‘Nossa Senhora das Angústias’.
Several important persons lived once in this villa including in 1849 the Russian Prince Maximilian, the Duke of Leuchtenberg and the son-in-law of Czar Nicolau I. In 1852 the Empress Dona Amélia and her daughter, Princess Dona Maria Amélia, who also died here in February 1853 of tuberculosis, moved to this villa.
Later, Nicolau Tulière inhabited the quinta, followed by the count Alexandre Carlos Lambert, adjutant of the Russian Empress, who also named it ‘Quinta Lambert’. Years later, in 1903, the local João Paulo Freitas bought the villa and changed its name back to ‘Quinta das Angústias’.
The original quinta disappeared in the 1970s to make way for a hotel, which the Regional Government acquired in 1979. At that time all remaining buildings and the gardens were completely remodelled.
In May 1984 the ‘Quinta Vigia’ became the Official Residence of the President of the Regional Government. It offers wonderful panoramic views over the harbour and harmoniously combines massive trees, palm trees, many specimens of indigenous flora as well as introduced plants and exotic birds in its gardens – a delight for all botanic lovers! Thankfully, the gardens are open to the public and admission is free.