Having a geographical area that spans 10.82 sq. Km, where the places of Caldeiras and Lombadas are included, the Township of Matriz (Nossa Senhora da Estrela) is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the townships of Conceição, Ribeirinha and São Miguel (municipality of Vila Franca do Campo).
The name of this township – Matriz – comes from the fact that is the mother-township of Ribeira Grande.
Its coming into status as a town or little township is from a time before the edification of its main church, the one of Nossa Senhora da Estrela, back in the five hundreds. It is Gaspar Frutuoso, in his fourth book of “Saudades da Terra” who gives us the first recorded information relating to this settlement “Rodrigo Anes was the first vicar of this township (…) and this township of Nossa Senhora da Estrela has as a suffrage place the town of Rabo de Peixe and five attached shrines. Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Santa Luzia, Santo André, São Sebastião, Nossa Senhora da Conceição and, besides Espírito Santo which is a holy place for the poo rand the sick close to the square, and beside a sumptuous monastery dedicated to Jesus, above the shrine but not as rich in buildings at it is religious and nobles virtues, to whichmade his own Pêro Roiz da Câmara”.
Matriz is one of the townships of the municipality of Ribeira Grande that in what concerns to cultural and natural gifts, it is the richest.
Demographic chart of Ribeira Grande Parishes