The history of Faro's ancient city walls date back to the late Roman period when they were raised by the Moorish prince Ben Bekr. The walls were severly damaged during an attack in the 16th century and later had to be rebuilt.
They are home to two barbican towers and various arches. The medieval city fortification also includes a castle from the 17th century.
The city walls surround the oldest part of Faro, which is situated near the sea.
The Church of Sao Pedro (Igreja de Sao Pedro) was built in the 16th century on the site of a 15th century mariners chapel.
After the 1755 earthqauke it underwent extensive reconstructions. It is one of the many buildings in Faro where you can see storks nestling on the roof.
The Church of Sao Pedro is located at the Largo de Sao Pedro (Bairro Ribeirinho district), just south of the Carmo Church.
Faro's old town is dominated by the cathedral (Se Catedral). The original Gothic church was built in the 13th century, but severely damaged during the 1755 earthquake. Only the tower and and a doorway remained from that era.
From the tower you can enjoy panoramic views of Faro and the coastline.
Faro Cathedral is located at the Largo da Se, just in the heart of Faro's old town.
Situated on the highest point of the city, in the far east of the city, this church takes its name after its location. It was built in the fifteenth century, next to a medieval tower dating back to 1355. Inside is said to be a small museum exhibiting a collection of pictures, paintings and engravings alluding to St. Anthony.
Located in the eastern side of the city walls, this gate (meaning Resting Arch) was built by the Moors in the 12th and 13th centuries in order to prevent Christian invaders. It features two towers with two side entrances. One of the arches was sealed in the 18th century by the Hermitage of Our Lady of Rest and a new entrance was opened in the 19th century.
Located along the side of the Marina, this garden with its attractive flower beds, tall palms and jacaranda trees is a favourite haunt of the elder citizens of Faro who sit here and watch the world go by. It was called Queen’s Square when, in 1491, the village of faro was bestowed upon Queen Dona Leonor. At the end of the 15th century (1499) the area became the new civic and trade centre as a result of development carried out by King D. Manuel I.
Beside the Marina, this obelisk was erected in 1910 to commemorate the diplomat Ferreira d’Almeida. One of Faro’s famous sons, he had a long period of office as minister of naval affairs. During this time he founded a naval college and promoted the fishing industry.
Faro has a beautiful marina which lies just to the north of the Old Town. I sat at the southern end in the shade and watched the little boats come and go, in and out under and railway line that runs alongside. Very picturesque scene.
This church is located just to the south of the large Carmo Church and, luckily, was open when I visited on a Sunday morning as a service had just finished. Originally dating from medieval times, it was completely rebuilt in the mid-16th century. It was then handed over to the Military Order of St James in exchange for the transfer of the Church of Santa Maria to the Bishop. The plain exterior hides an interesting interior of 18th-century azulejos and fine-carved woodwork.
The Carmelite Church is a wonderful looking church that's located right in the very heart of the city centre. It was founded in 1713 by Bishop António Pereira da Silva, who was responsible for the initial project. In mid-18th century the building underwent major renovation and additions, having been destroyed by the 1755 earthquake with a new layout being designed by master mason Diogo Gonçalves. The bell towers were added to the facade in 1878.
Officially known as the Chapel of the Lady of Hope, this small church is located on the main road between the city's indoor market and the Carmo Church. It was founded by John the Beloved, Knight of the Bishop of the Algarve, D. João Camelo Madureira (1486-1501), to receive his mortal remains. The building today dates from the 17th century and has been recently refurbished and delivered to the service of the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate.
Located just to the east of St Peter's church in the city centre, this building was originally built in 1599 as the College of St. James the Greater Society of Jesus (expelled in 1759), before it was purchased at an auction in 1843 by Dr. Lazarus Doglioni. It was refurbished and opened on April 4 1845 as a theatre.
Located on a small square towards the east of the city centre, this church dates back to 1640 when it used to be located on the city's outskirts. In 1659 it was protected by a bulwarked enclosure. It was renovated in the 18th century and a chapel with an image of Our Lady Foot of the Cross and the Holy Souls was built at the back of the church.
Located on the other side of the large car park from the old town, the original church was built in 1674 but was reoriented with an octagonal transept and a new nave in the middle of the 18th century. An attached cloister was also built. The interior is said to feature Baroque tiles depicting the life of St Francis and rococo woodwork but was closed when I visited.
Located in the southern section of the city walls, these towers used to be part of the castle that dated back to the 9th century. However, the three Byzantine towers themselves actually date back to the 6th and 7th centuries.