Arco da Vila

Arco da Vila - Faro
© Morgan Davis / CC BY-SA 3.0
Arco da Vila
© Husond / CC BY-SA 3.0
Arco da Vila - night
© Bert Kaufmann / CC BY-SA 3.0

Faro City Arch

Faro's fine neo-classical archway is the entrance to the Algarve city's old quarter (Cidade Velha). It was built on the site of a much older medieval gateway in the city walls by order of Bishop Francisco Gomes do Avelar in 1812. He oversaw much of the reconstruction of Faro after the devastating 1755 earthquake.

The design is the work of Genoese architect Francisco Xavier Fabri. Also hailing from Italy is the statue set in the recess above the arch - it is a figure of St Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Italian religious scholar.

Within the arch itself it is possible to make out the original Moorish entranceway. There is also access to the tower above arch when the tourist office downstairs is open. From here there are good views of the old city and coast, and you may also be able to spot some of the stork nests that are iconic to this part of the Algarve.

Other attractions near Arco da Vila


Faro travel guide »

Surrounded by fertile fields of trees bearing fruit, olives and the almonds for which the Algarve is famous, Faro is a large town of over 50,000 inhabitants, the administrative capital of the province, lies at the heart of the...