Property for sale in the Algarve: Faro
Originally called Ossónoba by the Moors who inhabited the town from 8th to 13th century, Faro is now a buzzing destination that serves as the administrative capital of the Algarve. Home to around 56,000 people, Faro is typical of the area in that it has a huge and fascinating history. This can be seen in the varied ruins of cultures long since passed, from Moorish to Arab to Roman. Sadly, like so many towns in the Algarve, Faro was hit very hard in the devastating earthquake of 1755, so there is less evidence of ancient occupiers than you would imagine or hope for.
Examples of the diversity of cultures can, however, be found in the extremely attractive oldest part of the town. Surrounded by the original Roman walls, the main square contains the Episcopal Place of the 18th Century, a 16th Century convent (now housing an archaeological museum) and a lovely, 13th Century cathedral. A bizarre historical site that must be seen on visits to Faro is the Nossa Senhora do Carmois church, containing a small chapel essentially constructed from the bones of 1,200 monks! A sobering inscription above the doorway translates as “Stop here and think of the fate that will befall you”.
On a slightly less macabre note, the shopping is good! The newer sections of town have an excellent range of shops, restaurants, cafés and bars, as well as a theatre and well worthwhile museum tracing the maritime history of the coast. But many think that the jewel in Faro’s crown is the 17,000 hectare Ria Formosa lagoon, a tranquil area that is sanctuary to hundreds of species of birds, particularly during the migratory periods of spring and autumn.
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