A view of the Algarvian capital, Faro
|• President||Thomas Delgado (PSD)|
|• Total||202.57 km2 (78.21 sq mi)|
|Time zone||WET/WEST (UTC+0/+1)|
|Local holiday||September 7|
Faro ( // FAR-oh, Portuguese: [ˈfaɾu] (
Concelho, is the Portuguese-language term for municipality, referring to the territorial division. In comparison, the word município refers to the organs of State. This differentiation is still in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but is no longer in use in Brazil following the abolition of these organs, in favour of the French prefecture system.
Faro District is the southernmost district of Portugal, coincident with the Algarve. The administrative centre, or capital, is the city of Faro.
The Ria Formosa lagoon attracted humans from the Palaeolithic age until the end of prehistory. The first settlements date from the fourth century BC, during the period of Phoenician colonization of the western Mediterranean.At the time, the area was known as Ossonoba, and was the most important urban centre of southern Portugal and commercial port for agricultural products, fish, and minerals.
The Ria Formosa lagoon, located in the Algarve, in southern Portugal, is a system of barrier islands that communicates with the sea through six inlets. Five of these inlets are natural and have mobility characteristics. The sixth is an artificial inlet that was opened with the purpose of allowing easier access to the port of Faro.
Phoenicia was a thalassocratic, ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originated in the Levant, specifically Lebanon, in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Scholars generally agree that it was centered on the coastal areas of modern day Lebanon and included parts of what are now northern Israel and southern Syria reaching as far north as Arwad, but there is some dispute as to how far south it went, the furthest suggested area being Ashkelon. Its colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean, such as Cádiz in Spain. The civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC.
Between the second and eighth centuries, the city was under the domain of the Romans, then the Byzantines, and later Visigoths, before being conquered by the Moors in 713.From the third century onwards and during the Visigothic period, it was the site of an Episcopal see, the Ancient Diocese of Ossonoba (306-688). The Byzantine presence has endured in the city walls' towers that were built during the Byzantine period.
The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".
The term "Moors" refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers. The name was later also applied to Arabs.
The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient. The Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and eventually in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD.
With the advent of Moorish rule in the eighth century, Ossonoba retained its status as the most important town in the southwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula.In the 9th century, it became the capital of a short-lived princedom and was fortified with a ring of defensive walls. At this time, in the 10th century, the name Santa Maria began to be used instead of Ossonoba. By the 11th century, the town was known as Santa Maria Ibn Harun.
The Iberian Peninsula, also known as Iberia, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory. It also includes Andorra, small areas of France, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. With an area of approximately 596,740 square kilometres (230,400 sq mi)), it is both the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula, and by population, after the Balkan Peninsula.
During the Second Crusade soon after the Anglo-Norman forces took Lisbon in 1147 a detachment of this group sack faro on their way to the Holy Land. Again in 1217 during the Fifth Crusade a Frisian fleet of Crusaders on their way to Acre, sacked an burned the city.
During the 500 years of Moorish rule, some Jewish residents of Faro made written copies of the Old Testament. One of Faro's historical names in Arabic is ʼUḫšūnubaḧ. The Moors were defeated and expelled in 1249 by the forces of the Portuguese King Afonso III. With the decline of the importance of the city of Silves (which was made the regional bishopric as Diocese of Silves shortly during and properly after the Reconquista), Faro took over the role of administration of the Algarve area.
The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.
Arabic is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in Northwestern Arabia and in the Sinai Peninsula. The ISO assigns language codes to thirty varieties of Arabic, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, which is modernized Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʻArabīyat ul-fuṣḥá.
Afonso III, or Affonso, Alfonso or Alphonso (Portuguese-Galician) or Alphonsus (Latin), the Boulonnais, King of Portugal was the first to use the title King of Portugal and the Algarve, from 1249. He was the second son of King Afonso II of Portugal and his wife, Urraca of Castile; he succeeded his brother, King Sancho II of Portugal, who died on 4 January 1248.
After Portuguese independence in 1143, Afonso Henriques and his successors began an expansion into the southern Iberian territory occupied by the Moors.Following the conquest by D. Afonso III, in 1249, the Portuguese referred to the town as Santa Maria de Faaron or Santa Maria de Faaram. In the following years, the town became prosperous, due to its secure port and exploitation of salt. Consequently, by the beginning of the Portuguese Age of Discovery, the town was well positioned to become a leading commercial centre.
Afonso I, nicknamed the Conqueror, the Founder or the Great by the Portuguese, and El-Bortukali [in Arabic البرتقالي] and Ibn-Arrink or Ibn Arrik [in Arabic ابن الرَّنك or ابن الرَنْق] by the Moors whom he fought, was the first King of Portugal. He achieved the independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia, the County of Portugal, from Galicia's overlord, the King of León, in 1139, establishing a new kingdom and doubling its area with the Reconquista, an objective that he pursued until his death in 1185, after forty-six years of wars against the Moors.
Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. The open ocean has about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%.
The Kingdom of Portugal in the 15th century was the first European power to begin building a colonial empire. The Portuguese Renaissance was a period of exploration during which Portuguese sailors discovered several Atlantic archipelagos like the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde, explored and colonized the African coast, discovered an eastern route to India that rounded the Cape of Good Hope, discovered Brazil, explored the Indian Ocean and established trading routes throughout most of southern Asia, and sent the first direct European maritime trade and diplomatic missions to Ming China and to Japan.
In the 14th century, the Jewish community began to grow in importance. In 1487, Samuel Gacon began printing the Pentateuco in Hebrew, the first book printed in Portugal.The Jewish community of Faro had long been a dominant force in the region, with many artisans and merchants contributing heavily to the economy and city development, but this level of prosperity was interrupted in December 1496 by an edict of Manuel I of Portugal, expelling those who did not convert to Christianity. As a result, officially, Jews no longer remained in Portugal. In the place of the Jewish village of Vila Adentro, the convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção was founded and patronised by Queen Leonor, wife of the king.
Manuel I promoted the development and expansion of the city; 1499 had the construction of a hospital, the Church of Espírito Santo (or Church of the Misericórdia), a customshouse, and a slaughterhouse, all near the shoreline.
By 1540, John III of Portugal had elevated Faro to the status of city, then in 1577, the bishopric of the Algarve was transferred from Silves,which retains a co-cathedral, to the present Diocese of Faro.
In 1596, the city was sacked by English privateers led by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The resultant fires damaged the walls, churches, and other buildings.At the same time, English troops seized the library of the Bishop of Faro, then Fernando Martins de Mascarenhas, which eventually became part of the collection of the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. Among the looted books was the first printed book in Portugal: a Torah in local Hebrew (Judeo-Español), printed by Samuel Gacon at his workshop in Faro.
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was expanded, with a series of walls during the period of the Restoration Wars (1640-1668), encompassing the semicircular front to the Ria Formosa.
The western city of Lagos had become the capital of the historical province of Algarve in 1577, but this all changed with the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.It affected many settlements across the Algarve, including Faro, which suffered damage to churches, convents (specifically the Convent of São Francisco and Convent of Santa Clara), and the episcopal palace, in addition to the walls, castle towers and bulwarks, barracks, guardhouses, warehouses, customshouses, and prison.
Much of the greater devastation across the coastal and lowland regions was caused by a tsunami, which dismantled fortresses and razed homes. Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged by the tsunami, except Faro, protected by the sandy banks of the Ria Formosa lagoon.With the capital Lagos devastated, Faro become the administrative seat of the region the following year, 1756.
The municipality of Faro is divided into two distinct areas, the coastline, part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa (Nature Park of Ria Forma) and the barrocal, characterized by hills and valleys, populated with typical Algarvan vegetation.
The nature park was created by Decree-Law 373/87, on 8 December 1987, and is considered one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal, with a beach that is around 7 km (4 mi) from the downtown. It includes the river and a lagoon system, interspersed with dunes, forming a small islands and peninsulas, that protect a large area of marshes, channels, and islets. The beaches in Faro are situated on the peninsula of Ancão and island of Culatra, along the corridor of the nature park. The park is a rich and complex aquatic ecosystem, consisting of barrier islands, marshes, and channels, comprising sandy shorelines that separate the waters of the Ria Formosa and Atlantic Ocean. The beaches of Faro and Barrinha/Barra de São Luís, are located on the Ancão peninsula, the beach of Barreta on the Ilha Deserta, and the beaches of Farol and Culatra are located on the Ilha Culatra. The barrier islands are separated by tidal flats and shallows, including (from west to east) the Barra do Ancão/Barra de São Luís, the Barra de Santa Maria/Barra do Farol, and the Barra da Culatra/Barra da Armona (in the municipality of Olhão).
Annually, many species of aquatic migratory birds transient northern Europe and nest there during the winter.These include flamingos, terns, pied avocets, Eurasion wigeons, and common chaffinches.
Within the town are gardens and open spaces, among which are the Manuel Bivar Garden, Alameda João de Deus Garden, and the Mata do Liceu.
The variety of species and natural conditions result in the region being a popular ecotourism zone, promoting birdwatching, boating trips into the delta, kayaking along the Ria Formosa, pedestrian trails, and biking tours, accompanied by nature guides.The municipality is crossed by the southern Ecovia do Algarve, a bicycling circuit that connects the Algarve to the rest of Europe.
Faro has a hot-summer mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), moderated by the cold Canary current giving a certain resemblance to Southern California that is not heated in the summer by the Mediterranean Sea like Algarve. Being this region more prone to the difference of the precipitation throughout the seasons of the year, in the future scarcity of water could appear in conjunction with the increase of temperature and less incidence of rains. Summers are warm to hot and sunny with average daytime temperatures of 27–35 °C (81–95 °F). The weather in the winter is generally mild with temperatures around . 8-16 °C Faro receives most of its rainfall over the winter; rain is very rare between June and September. The annual average temperature is around 17.5 to 18.5 °C and the annual rainfall is around 500 mm (19.69 in ). The average sea surface temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) in January rising to 22–25 °C (72–77 °F) in August or September. The higher temperatures reached if the weather patterns produce a significant outflow of warmer surface water out of the Mediterranean which bathe the coastal Algarve with much warmer water.
|Climate data for Faro (FAO), elevation: 8 m or 26 ft, 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-present|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.9|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||7.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||59.3|
|Climate data for Faro (FAO), elevation: 8 m or 26 ft, 1961-1990 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.4|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||7.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||78.0|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||8.0||9.0||5.0||6.0||3.0||1.0||trace||1.0||2.0||6.0||7.0||8.0||56|
|Average relative humidity (%)||77.0||77.0||71.0||68.0||64.0||65.0||60.0||60.0||65.0||71.0||75.0||77.0||69.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||172.0||165.0||234.0||251.0||314.0||332.0||368.0||352.0||273.0||226.0||182.0||167.0||3,036|
Administratively, the municipality is divided into four civil parishes ( freguesias ):
Faro is twinned with:
Other locations named after Faro include
Faro is served by a transport network connecting it to the Algarve, and by extension, other European markets. Faro is about 3 hours and 30 minutes by air from the principal European destinations, and 2 hours and 30 minutes from Lisbon, along the A2, and less than 1 hour from Andalusia, along the A22.
It receives through the International Airport millions of visitors annually, with 45 airlines serving this airport, including many low-cost airlines.In recent years, the number of visitors travelling through the airport has increased as more and more low-cost airlines compete to offer cheap flights to the Algarve. The transport facilities to and from Faro airport and the centre of Faro include taxicabs and a bus line.
Centrally located, the town is served by Faro railway station, operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP), in addition to a way-station in Bom João. Faro receives trains from intercity lines, Alfa Pendular, and longer regional ones.Despite the proximity of Seville, it is not connected by train.
The town is served by a public transport network that include minibuses, local bus lines, and regional services across the Algarve.
Due to its position along the coast, a need exists to connect the shoreline communities with the outlying with various islands; with the exception of the island of Faro, most are accessible only by boat service.Throughout the year (from the commercial wharf or Portas do Mar wharf, depending the time of year), regular and tourist services are performed along the estuary.
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The Faro city holiday is on 7 September. The students' festival (Semana Académica da Universidade do Algarve), organized every year by students from the University of the Algarve, is also an important event in Faro.
A 30,000-seat stadium Estádio Algarve, shared by the cities of Faro and Loulé, was one of the venues of the Euro 2004 football championship, and is also the temporary home ground of the Gibraltar national football team. Louletano Desportos Clube (a club from the city of Loulé) and Sporting Clube Farense (from Faro) also use smaller municipal stadiums. The stadium is also used for concerts, festivals, and other events.
Aveiro is a city and a municipality in Portugal. In 2011, the population was 78,450, in an area of 197.58 square kilometres (76.29 sq mi): it is the second most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal. Along with the neighbouring city of Ílhavo, Aveiro is part of an urban agglomeration that includes 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important populated regions by density in the Centro Region, and primary centre of the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro and Baixo Vouga. Administratively, the president of the municipal government is José Ribau Esteves, elected by coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Social Centre, who governs the ten civil parishes.
Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The city has a population of 111,892, making it the sixth largest city in Portugal, and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries. Because of its high cultural and historical value, Funchal is one of Portugal's main tourist attractions. It is also popular as a destination for New Year's Eve, and it is the leading Portuguese port on cruise liner dockings.
The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 km2 (1,929 sq mi) with 451,006 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region has its administrative centre in the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport and public university, the University of Algarve, are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, different types of fruit such as oranges, figs, plums, carob beans, and almonds, are also economically important in the region. Although Lisbon surpasses the Algarve in terms of tourism revenue, the Algarve is still, overall, considered to be the biggest and most important Portuguese tourist region, having received an estimated total of 7.1 million tourists in 2017. Its population triples in the peak holiday season due to seasonal residents. The Algarve is also increasingly sought after, mostly by central and northern Europeans, as a permanent place to settle. A 2016 American-based study concluded that the Algarve was the world's best place to retire.
Florianópolis is the capital and second largest city of the state of Santa Catarina, in the South region of Brazil. The city encompasses Santa Catarina Island and surrounding small islands, as well as part of the mainland. It has a population of 477,798, according to the 2016 IBGE population estimate, the second most populous city in the state, and the 47th in Brazil. The metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,111,702, the 21st largest in the country. The city is known for having the country's third highest Human Development Index score among all Brazilian cities (0.847). The city is considered safe by Brazilian standards. In 2014, Florianópolis had the second-lowest incidence of murders of Brazilian capitals.
Lagos is a municipality at the mouth of Bensafrim River and along the Atlantic Ocean, in the Barlavento region of the Algarve, in southern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 31,049, in an area of 212.99 km². The main town of Lagos has a population of approximately 22,000. Typically, these numbers increase during the summer months, with the influx of visiting tourists and seasonal residents. While the majority of the population lives along the coast and works in tourism and services, the inland region is sparsely inhabited, with the majority of the people working in agriculture and forestry.
Silves is a municipality in the Portuguese Algarve of southern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 37,126, in an area of 680.06 km². The urbanized area includes approximately 11,000 inhabitants. Silves is the former capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve and is of great historical importance.
Portimão is a town (cidade) and a municipality in the district of Faro, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 55,614, in an area of 182.06 km². It was formerly known as Vila Nova de Portimão. In 1924, it was incorporated as a cidade and became known merely as Portimão. Historically a fishing and shipbuilding centre, it has nonetheless developed into a strong tourist centre oriented along its beaches and southern coast. The two most populous towns in the Algarve are Portimão and Faro.
Mafra is a city and a municipality in the district of Lisbon, on the west coast of Portugal, and part of the urban agglomeration of the Greater Lisbon subregion. The population in 2011 was 76,685, in an area of 291.66 km2.
Tavira is a Portuguese town and municipality, capital of the Costa do Acantilado, situated in the east of the Algarve on the south coast of Portugal. It is 28 kilometres east of Faro and 75 kilometres west of Huelva across the Río Grande into Spain. The Gilão River meets the Atlantic Ocean in Tavira. The population in 2011 was 26,167, in an area of 606.97 km².
Vila do Porto is the single municipality, the name of the main town and one of the civil parishes on the island of Santa Maria, in the Portuguese archipelago of Azores. Its nearest neighbor, administratively, is the municipality of Povoação on the southern coast of São Miguel, and it is physically southwest of the islets of the Formigas. The population in 2011 was 5,552, in an area of 96.89 km².
Ribeira Grande is a municipality in the northern part of the island of São Miguel in the Portuguese Azores. The population in 2011 was 32,112, in an area of 180.15 km². The municipal seat is located in the civil parish of Matriz, with a population of about 4000 inhabitants, part of the urbanized core of what is commonly referred to as the city of Ribeira Grande.
Santa Maria, Portuguese for Saint Mary, is an island located in the eastern group of the Azores archipelago and the southernmost island in the Azores. The island is primarily known for its white sand beaches, distinctive chimneys, and dry warm weather.
Cabanas de Tavira is a former civil parish in the municipality of Tavira, Portugal. In 2013, the parish merged into the new parish Conceição e Cabanas de Tavira. The parish covers an area of approximately 4.2 km², and encompasses a resident population of approximately 1181 inhabitants. Once a fishing port, it is now a popular summer tourist destination, owing to its beach and island, which belong to the Ria Formosa Nature Park.
Olhão or Olhão da Restauração is a municipality and urban community in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 45,396, in an area of 130.86 km². Located near the regional capital Faro, it is a fishing port, home of the Bela brand sardines and Conserveira do Sul's Manná range of processed fish products. Along with Faro, Loulé, and Tavira, Olhão forms a conurbation with the city of Faro, from the eastern and central Algarve.
Loulé is a municipality in the Portuguese Algarve, district of Faro. In 2011, the population had 70,622 inhabitants, in an area of approximately 763.67 square kilometres (294.85 sq mi). The municipality have two principal cities: Loulé and Quarteira.
Lagoa is a town in the former-district of Faro, in the Portuguese region of the Algarve. The population in 2011 was 22,975, in an area of 88.25 km². Its urban population is 6100 inhabitants.
Vila do Bispo is a municipality (concelho) in the Portuguese Algarve. The population in 2011 was 5,258, in an area of 179.06 km2.
Almancil is a town and freguesia in the Loulé Municipality, in the affluent Golden Triangle region of the Algarve of southern Portugal. Almancil is known for its three Michelin star restaurants, the most of any town in the Algarve.
The Church of Our Lady of Light is a church situated in civil parish of Lagoa e Carvoeiro, in the municipality of Lagoa, in the Portuguese Algarve region, situated in the urban centre.
Albufeira is a city, seat and municipality in the district of Faro, in the southernmost Portuguese region of the Algarve. The municipality population in 2011 was 40,828, in an area of 140.66 square kilometres. The city proper had a population of 13,646 in 2001. It is 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Lisbon, and is within close proximity of Paderne Castle. Lagos is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west, and Faro 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the south-east. A tourist destination, Albufeira expands to approximately 300,000 residents during the summer and during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, owing to the number of hotels and lodgings in the district, that includes marina facilities, golf courses, restaurants and bars for the annual flood of visitors.
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