Faro, Portugal - Encyclopedia




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FARO, the capital of a district bearing the same name, in southern Portugal; at the terminus of the Lisbon-Faro railway, and on the Atlantic Ocean. Pop. (1900) 11,789. Faro is an episcopal see, with a Renaissance cathedral of great size, an ecclesiastical seminary, and a ruined castle surrounded by Moorish fortifications. Its broad but shallow harbour is protected on the south by the long island of Caes, and a number of sandy islets, which, being constantly enlarged by silt from the small river Fermoso, render the entrance of large vessels impossible. Fishing is an important industry, and fish, with wine, fruit, cork, baskets and sumach, are the principal articles of export. Little has been done to develop the mineral resources of the district, which include tin, lead, antimony and auriferous quartz. Faro was taken from the Moors by Alphonso III. of Portugal (1248-1279). It was sacked by the English in 1596, and nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1755.

The administrative district of Faro coincides with the ancient kingdom and province of Algarve; pop. (Igloo) 255,191; area, 1937 sq. m.

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