Monuments & Points of Interest
Clock Tower 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.
Mother Church Located in the Rua da Igreja Nova, the Mother Church of Albufeira was built in the 18th century to replace the previous church (originally an Arab mosque) that was destroyed during the earthquake of 1755.This church comprises a single nave in neoclassical style with four side chapels, a baptismal chapel, choir, two pulpits and two side chambers. The high alter has a beautiful altar piece by the painter of Albufeira, Samora Barros (20th century), that serves as a backdrop for the image of the patron saint of Albufeira, Our Lady of Conception. Above the arch of the main door, we can see the cross of Aviz, representing the religious and military order to which Albufeira once belonged. An essential part of the Mother Church, the bell tower was built in 1869. At the top of the long 28-metre staircase, there is a magnificent carillon of 8 bells.
Misericórdia’s Chapel This ancient Arab mosque, located in Rua Henrique Calado, was later used as a chapel of the governors of the castle. Restored in 1499, it was named “Capela da Misericórdia”. The chapel was partially destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, but was later restored and still has the original gothic portal, the triumphal arch and apse. In the interior, we recommend a visit to the carved altar piece that represents the image of N.ª Sr.ª da Visitação, the Senhor Morto and Rui Dias’s grave, the alleged governor of the castle.
Albergaria's old Building Also at Rua Henrique Calado is situated one of the few buildings that escaped the 1755 earthquake. This “Albergaria” (former shelter) was where “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” (a Portuguese charity organization) took in travellers and homeless people.
Church's Arco da Travessa It is a beautiful example of Arab architecture and gets its name from the street where it stands. In this area existed an Arab Mosque that at a later stage was transformed into a Christian Church, which was one of the buildings that crumbled during the 1755 earthquake.
Archaeology's 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.
Albufeira's Bateria 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.
Sant'Ana's 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.
Nossa Senhora da Orada' Chapel In the east side of the city, near Albufeira's Marina, you will find “Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Orada”. The first chapel was built in the 16th century but the actual construction is from the second half of the 18th century. Inside, a wooden altar stands out, and on the outside the attention draws to the tombs of Francisco da Silva Cabrita, a priest with the Order of Avis and of Francisco Correia Ataíde Cabrita, who participated in the war against Remexido's guerrillas in 1883. On August 14th the festivities in honour of Our Lady of Orada, take place here and involve a sea procession, where the image of the Virgin is transported adorned on a boat, creating a unique moment of beauty and strong symbolism.
S. Sebastião's Church This church was built in middle of the 18th century with architectural forms of popular inspiration. It has two impressive portals. The side one is squared in stone border's in Manueline's style. The main portal is a beautiful example of Baroque decoration. On the inside there is a single nave that has a wooden altar of the second half of 18th century and six saints’ images, all in wood and of unknown artists. Presently, this is an interesting museum's nucleus of this kind of art and it can be visited during all year round.
Albufeira's Saint Vicente's Statue The monument that was built in honour of Saint Vicente is situated in Jacinto D'Ayet square by Sant'Ana's church. Saint Vicente was born in 1590 in the village of Albufeira, and was offered by his mother to Our Lady of Orada at his christening. His parent's death took him to priesthood where he left for Mexico and joined the Saint Agostinho's Order. After many difficulties, he lives out his dream and goes to Fé de Cristo in Japan to preach. He was imprisoned in Nagasaqui for two years and tortured in order to reject his faith in Christianity. Since he refused to do it, he was then caged and taken to his final torture: The bonfire. The sentence was consummated on September 3rd 1632; with Saint Vicente raising a crucifix and screaming: -“Have faith in Jesus Christ”. Every year, on September 3rd, the festivities in honour of São Vicente take place in Albufeira.
Samora Barros's Statue The statue of illustrious Samora Barros is situated in Engº Duarte Pacheco square, and was inaugurated in 1987. José Ricardo Júdice Samora Barros was born on April 3rd 1887. He did a course in Fine Arts at the “Belas Artes” school in Lisbon, where he received many honourable awards. With liberal ideas, not only did he make history in Albufeira in the artistic side, as well as being dedicated with heart and soul in the defence and values of his motherland he also participated actively in the social and political life of the city. In his honour, the Municipality build this monument and also gave his name to the Art Gallery situated in Engº Duarte Pacheco's square.
Samora Barros's 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.