Sao Bras de Alportel 22 September 2009

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 by cubsur51

Yesterday I took a ride out to the pleasant little town of São Bras de Alportel, which is a few miles north of Faro along the old N2 road.
It was a hot day and the ‘Jardim da Verbena’ in the older part of town offers a shady place to sit and have a sandwich and ponder the weighty issues of the day.
Here are a few pictures I took.
The jardim was formerly the gardens of the Episcopal Palace, the summer residence of the Bishops of the Algarve. There is an 18th century fountain or spring, covered over by a sort of stone gazebo. The water no longer flows so far as I can tell and the inside is locked up. There’s a little wooden bandstand and they still have concerts in the open space. The former palace is in the final stages of restoration, having been until recent times the town’s primary school.
Next door are the town swimming pools. Imagine such a facility in a small town in England? Elsewhere, the town council is spending 850,000 Euros reconstructing the town’s indoor market hall. I can only think in England that the site would be have sold to a supermarket chain!
Next door is the old church. Rebuilt in 1801, after the disastrous earthquake of 1755, it was further restored around 50 years ago. It sits high above the valley across which are the hills separating S. Bras from the sea. The road to Faro goes through the cleft you can see. The town is almost 800 feet/230 metres above sea level.
There’s also the remains of the Roman road that once ran down to Faro and many old buildings. Sadly, as elsewhere, many of them have been abandoned and are gradually falling into ruin. There are some pleasant villages to the north and some good walking although it is rather hilly.
S. Bras was once an important centre of cork production. The activity continues but to a much lesser degree than of old. There’s a good website in English with some information
S. Bras is about 11 miles/18km north of Faro along the N2 and well worth a little visit if you have a few hours to spare.  There’s a reasonable bus service from Faro if you don’t have a car; times at The local council website (in Portuguese only) is

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