This museum was closed when I visited but I managed to take a couple of photos of the inside through the glass entrance door. Basically it's devoted to the local industry of dried fruits which is interesting to see how fruit is prepared for the public.
Located opposite the castle, the Convent of the Holy Spirit was built in the 17th and 18th centuries on the site of a former Convent of Franciscan Nuns of Our Lady of Conception, which held inside a church that no longer survives. Today only the neoclassical cloister remains and is home to the Municipal Art Gallery and a venue for temporary exhibitions and a small museum about the textile industry.
On your way up to the battlements and walls of the castle, be sure to visit this tiny museum which displays a traditional kitchen scene that dates back over the last couple of centuries.
Open: 9am-5.30pm Mon-Fri & 10am-2pm Sat.
Housed inside the main hall of the castle, the towns small museum exhibits many artefacts found on the site of the castle by various archaeological digs. These include Roman capitals, pots, jars, coins etc. The glass floor exposes excavated Moorish ruins.
Open: 9am-5.30pm Mon-Fri & 10am-2pm Sat. Admission: €1.50.
Said to date back to the Moorish period of the 10th century, the mighty walls of Loule's castle still stand and look pretty domineering even to this day. The town was conquered by Dom Afonso III (1248-79) in 1249 with the help of the knights of the Order of Santiago. After this the castle was adapted in the following centuries with a main hall added which still stands today and is home to a small museum (see next tip). As well as this, you can walk up to the wall and along the battlements which offer a good view over the western side of the town.
This tiny chapel is located opposite the entrance to the castle. It was built in the mid-17th century in gratitude for Portugal having regained its independence from Spain. Inside, it's said to be covered with tiles depicting scenes from the life of Christ, a rich and gilded altarpiece panel representing the Assumption of Our Lady.
Duarte Pacheco (1899 - 1943) was an engineer and statesman who was born in Loule. A brilliant student of the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, where he graduated in 1923 in Electrical Engineering, he became a professor and acting director in 1926 teaching General Mathematics. He later went into political office where he was Minister of Public Instruction and Minister of Public Works and Communications in the Salazar government. Here he modernised the Postal and Telecommunications services across the country which led to the building of a bridge over the Tagus River in Lisbon plus various housing projects in the city and the building of the National Stadium.
Located just to the southeast of the town centre, this convent was originally a convent of cloistered Franciscan friars (1328) and later of Augustinian friars (1580). The building was badly damaged in the 1755 earthquake and was sold to private individuals who turned the area of the chapels into living quarters. The great arch of the entrance to the old church, which is in the Gothic style features bunches of pine-cones and flowers at the point of intersection.
The first reference to the Misericordia of Loule was in 1568 and it's also known as Nossa Senhora dos Pobres (Our Lady of the Poor). Its portico is in the Manueline style, unique to Portugal, as is the upper window. In front of the door is a limestone cross which has on one side the image of Christ on the cross and on the other Our Lady of the Poor. It was made by an unknown carver and dates from the beginning of the 16th century and, again, is in the Manueline style.
The towns market is located right in the centre of town and was built in the Arabian style. It's open every morning except Sunday and was one of the best I came across during my time exploring the Algarve. Not only does it have fish, meat and fruit/vegetable stalls, it also has stalls selling flowers, grocery items, bakery, ironmongery and stalls selling local products like jams and chutneys (some of which can be sampled and believe me they're good, if a little expensive), cakes (including Easter cake and Carob cake), honey, piri-piri sauce, oils, sauces and ceramic pots.
Loule's main church, dedicated to St Clemente is located a few hundred metres south of the castle. Its origins go back to the second half of the 13th century when it was probably commissioned by the Archbishop of Braga, D. Joao Viegas, who, in 1251, charged the Dominican monks with the construction of various churches in the Algarve. The bell tower remains from the Mosque which once occupied the site. In the 16th century, some of the side chapels and the five altarpieces were added. Of special interest is the one in the chapel of souls. The church was severely damaged by three earthquakes - the big one in 1755 and smaller ones in 1856 and 1969.
This church is located to the west of the castle and features a Renaissance dome. Inside stands a Baroque altarpiece with images of San Francisco and San Sebastian plus tiles from the 18th century.
The Town Hall (Câmara Municipal de Loulé) is located next to the market on the pedestrianised Praça da República. It's a lovely looking building with a short, squat clock tower.