OLD TOWN - Historical Center
Set on sandstone cliffs above a wide sandy bay, the Albufeira of old was once a quiet fishing village, nothing more than a cluster of whitewashed cottages, a chapel, and a church.
Step back further, and it was the Romans who built a castle here, strengthened later by the Moors.
Little remains of their presence, but what Albufeira lacks in historical interest it more than makes up for with its animated spirit and vacation-time atmosphere. The resort's neon-lit streets illuminate a plethora of hotels, cafés, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Top-notch leisure facilities exude an all-round appeal, and Albufeira is often the preferred choice of families.
Built at the end of the 18 Church of S. Sebastião - LC th century, the church possesses an imposing belltower. The interior consists of a single nave. On the high altar there is a valuablestatue of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception) (18thcentury), the patron saint of Albufeira, and an altarpiece painted by the Algarvian artist Samora Barros (20th century). The side altars and the sacristy contain statues from the 18th and 19th centuries.
CHURCH OF SÃO SEBASTIÃO (ST. SEBASTIAN)
This church was built in the middle ofthe 18th century and is located in thePraça Miguel Bombarda. Its architecture is popular in style. On the outside of the
church, the outstanding features are acupola and two doorways, of which the side one has stonework in the Manueline style, a fine example of Baroque
decoration. The interior with a singlenave has a wooden altarpiece from thesecond half of the 18th century, sixstatues of saints, all made of wood and
by unknown artists, and also a stonestatue dating perhaps from the 16thcentury, which must have belonged tothe old Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Piety).
IGREJA DE SANT’ANA (ST. ANNE)
The architectural features of this church, which has a cupola surrounded by pinnacles, are popular in origin (18th century). The chancel contains a wooden altarpiece dating from the middle of the 18th century.
Standing on the site of a former Arab mosque, the building was restored in 1499 as the chapel of the “Alcaides”, the local governors. Rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755, it nevertheless retains some of its earlier Gothic (15th century) features, namely the doorway, the triumphal arch and the apse.
Nearby stands the Gothic doorway of the old hostelry.
CHAPEL OF NOSSA SENHORA DA ORADA (OUR LADY OF ORADA)
A typically rural chapel, built in a once deserted valley. Much frequented by fishermen, it contains “ex-votos” depicting miracles. In the churchyard, two graves belonging to victims of the constitutional struggles of the 19thcentury are to be found.
Considered one of the highlights of the city, the clock tower is certainly worth a visit. Located in Rua Bernardino Sousa, near Peneco’s Beach, it was built over the castle’s wall, and it was actually one of the old medieval castle towers. In the 19th century an original iron crown was implemented to the tower, where the time bells are located. During the night, in the centre of Albufeira, the Clock Tower lightens up, and is most certainly a reference to those who like night sceneries.
ARCHEOLOGY MUNICIPAL MUSEUM
This building is where the old City Hall was established until the mid 80's. Situated in Praça da República, this building was converted into the Municipal's Archaeology Museum, and is composed of four historical nucleuses related to the different periods: Pre-historical, Roman, Visigoth, Islamic and Modern Age.
races of one of the castle's tower wall is situated in Rua Joaquim Pedro Samora, where once was situated the “North Door” or “Beach Door”.
It is an area that marks one of the three doors of the castle, which was designated as an access to the exterior of the walls and where once existed a chapel with the same name that crumbled in 1755. After the end of the 18th century the Saint Ana's cult started taking place in the actual Chapel. Traces are still visible of the castle's walls.
Built probably in the 16th century, in an area where the cliff rises 41 meters in height, the “Bateria of Albufeira” was the first line of defence for the Albufeira’s Square. In a semi circular form, it had pieces of artillery. An example of this in the Municipal's Museum of Albufeira. The cliff's downfall gave way to an underground compartment that was used to store the ammunitions and can be viewed throughout Bateria’s street.
SAMORA BARROS ART GALLERY BUILDING
This building used to be the old power plant and goes back as far as the beginning of the last century. In 1988 it was renovated and transformed into an Art Gallery. It has two floors with exterior arc embrasures which allow natural lighting around the whole building. In its facade the tiles and wood crucifix were designed by Albufeira's artist Samora Barros.
Paderne has its origins in the remote past and may have begun life with the arrival of settlers who had been living in the nearby castle.
Located in a scenic position on a gentle hill, its old white housesstand out from the surrounding countryside.One of the housesin the village
has an interesting decorated chimney dating from the 18th century.
Situated about two kilometres from Paderne, it is built on a spur of rock around which flows the Quarteira creek. It is Arab in origin and was inhabited until the 14th
century. It has thick walls of “taipa” (made of mud mixed with lime and stones), a typical feature of Moorish buildings. There is an interesting barbican tower which served to defend the most exposed side of the castle. Only the entrance gate and the tower that defended it are made of stone. Inside are to be found the ruins of the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of the Assumption).
Nearby, there is a bridge of medieval origin that retains a stretch of the old road and water mill with its weir.
The original building in the Manueline style (16th century) has been altered by successive periods of reconstruction. The interior consists of three naves. The arch of the chancel is decorated with human figures and has monogrammed columns at the sides. The high altar has a highly ornate carved altarpiece (18th century).
There is an interesting collection of 17th and 18th century statues.