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€27 (4 pax)
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The administrative capital of the Algarve is Faro which lies approximately in the centre of the region. The town has had its fair share of history having taken over in 1756 from the past Cities of Silves and Lagos. Faro has both Roman and Moorish ruins but most of the older buildings standing today were constructed after the disastrous earthquake of 1755. The Moors who occupied the town in the 8th century named the city Ossnoba and it was developed as a trading port until 1249. The Moors were then defeated and routed by the army of King Afonso III. The old part of Faro is interesting as it is still surrounded by Roman walls that date back to the 9th. In the spacious open square that was once the site of the Roman Forum is a 13th century Cathedral that faces the 18th century Episcopal palace. Also, nearby is the 6th century Convent that is now the home of the city Archaeological Museum. The church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo is said to be an outstanding example of gold-leaf work in southern Portugal. It also contains the macabre chapel lined with the bones from over 1.200 monks. Overlooking the small boat marina is a small Naval Museum which is composed of scale model boats and galleons from the maritime history of this coastline. There is also the Faro Jewish Heritage Centre consisting of a cemetery and a small museum. Most of the city is now composed of apartments and offices but there are a number of attractive shops and a particularly artistic theatre. The English Earl of Essex fleet raided the town in 1596 on their journey to the Holy Land and the impressive library of the Bishop of Faro was taken to become at founding part of the Bodleian Library in Oxford University. Interestingly, is the fact that during the 500 years of Moorish occupation there were Jewish inhabitants that were busy printing copies of the Old Testament.
The train station and the bus terminal are both within walking distance of the centre making movement very easy to visit other town along the Algarve. The international Airport of Faro is about 8 kilometres from the town.