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Exploring Religious Buildings in the Algarve

Exploring Religious Buildings in the Algarve

By car, 239 km, 1 day

This southern province was so successful in cultivating its difference that for centuries the monarch was called ''King of Portugal and the Algarve''. Its hilly landscapes with fertile valleys and its heavenly coastline have attracted many conquering peoples. The Christian Reconquista did not erase the traces of its Muslim heritage, starting with its name which comes from the Arabic word ''Al gharb'', meaning West.

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Castro Verde

Castro Verde
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Nossa Senhora da Conceição church  

R. de Mértola 7780 Castro Verde
Religious buildings

The walls of this basilica are covered from top to bottom with magnificent azulejos. The panels of the upper section of the nave depict scenes of the battle of Ourique, a town 14 kilometres away, where Afonso Henriques routed the Moors and was proclaimed King of Portugal.

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Church-mosque   Interesting

R. da Igreja 7750 Mértola
Religious buildings

You will notice behind the altar, the old mihrab, a niche from which the imam ran the religious services and the overstepped arch of the door which opens onto the sacristy. The pretty vaults date from the 13C. In the rua da Republica, at no.2, a small museum contains an interesting collection of Islamic ceramics from the 9C to the 12C.

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Salir

Salir
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Parish Church  

7 Largo José da Graça 8100 Alte
Religious buildings

This Church, which was established before the 16C, has a beautiful Manueline door. One of the chapels is completely covered in 18C azulejos, whilst the chapel of Nossa Senhora of Lourdes is decorated with cherished, multi-coloured azulejos in relief from the 16C, in the Seville style.

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Nossa Senhora da Conceição church  

R. Dom Paio Perês Correia 8100 Loulé
Religious buildings

The interior of this church is covered in attractive azulejos from the 17C and has a retable in gilded wood.

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