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Virtual visit to Faro historic centre

Are you at home and need something to do?
Experience an online virtual visit to Faro


The first landmarks date back to the 4th century BC, the period of Phoenician colonization of the Western Mediterranean. Its name then was Ossonoba, being one of the most important urban centres in the south of Portugal and a commercial warehouse based on the exchange of agricultural products, fish and minerals. Between the centuries II BC and VIII AD, the city was under Roman and Visigoth dominion, being conquered by the Moors in 713.

During the Arab occupation, the name Ossonoba prevailed, disappearing only in the century. IX, giving way to Santa Maria do Ocidente. In the century. XI, the city changes its name to Santa Maria Ibn Harun. Capital of an ephemeral independent principality in the 19th century. IX, the city is fortified with a belt of walls and the name of Ossonoba begins to be replaced by that of Santa Maria, which later joins the designation of Harune, which gave rise to Faro.
Following the independence of Portugal, in 1143, the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his successors began to expand the country to the south, reconquering the territories occupied by the Moors. After the conquest by D. Afonso III, in 1249, the Portuguese designated the city like Santa Maria de Faaron or Santa Maria de Faaram.

In the following centuries, Faro became a prosperous city due to its geographical position, its safe harbour and the exploration and trade of salt and agricultural products from the Algarve interior, trade that was increased with the Portuguese Discoveries.

In the century. XIV the Jewish community begins to gain importance in the city. One of his most relevant figures was the typographer Samuel Gacon, responsible for the printing of the Pentateuch in Hebrew, is the first book printed in Portugal in the year 1487. The community of Faro was always one of the most distinguished in the Algarve region and the most notable in the country, with many artisans and many entrepreneurial people.

Historic centre
City deploys on the sea coast. Urban nucleus walled with the urban fabric of medieval roots structured on pre-existent Romans. The concentric radial structure that reveals in the spatial organization the inheritance of the thistle and decuman fundamental axes and of the Roman Ossónoba forum, in addition to the internal circular inherited from the Islamic city. The sacredness of the centralizing space of the entire structure was maintained, along with a road network influenced and conditioned by the urban limit imposed by the wall. The blocks are of very irregular shapes, dimensions and occupancy densities. They appear alongside large public places, situations of public places practically nonexistent. Altogether, there is a low occupancy density, with free, public and private space having a great impact. As the founding nucleus of the city, it contains the most representative examples of buildings from different eras. The buildings of chã private civil architecture, urban palaces and wealthy houses with bourgeois, eighteenth and nineteenth-century characteristics, with two floors, stand out.

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