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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Visit Olhão

The municipality of Olhão is located in the Eastern and Central Algarve, has a total area of approximately 130 km2. Faces the east and north with the municipality of Tavira, on the west with the municipality of Faro and south by the Atlantic Ocean. The entire coastal zone of the municipality of Olhão is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, one of the most important wetlands in Europe.
The municipality of Olhão is made up of five parishes: Olhão, Fuseta, Moncarapacho, Olhão and Pechão. All extend to the shore.
According to the 2001 Census, the
Olhão municipality had 40,808 inhabitants.

Fishing and canning industry remain as central to the economy of the city while construction, wholesale trade, retail and property activities constitute business booming.
It is said that Olhão, have derived from the Arabic word 'Al-HAIN', meaning power source, and suffering the phonetic and phonologic changes naturally have led to the appearance of the word 'ALHAMA', then 'LOOK' and finally OLHÃO . In the second version of popular and old witnesses, Olhão is the augmentative of common noun "eye" with a great source "Eye Water" (source, spring or well of high flow), since there were abundant in the area of eyes water, giving rise to the construction of the first "huts" made of reed and thatch.

Brief Historical Summary

Archaeological finds human presence in the area of the municipality of Olhão since the Neolithic.
The Roman occupation left its mark in Marim, near the lagoon, where there was an important station in the fourth century, and its vast necropolis also used during the Visigothic rule (Saudação V to VIII). In Marim salinas the Romans built and implemented the fishing industry and fish salting, whose products were then exported throughout the Empire (ancient fish salting tanks are currently displayed in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa).
During the reign of Diniz, in 1282, began building the Tower of Marim, whose remains still exist in modern Quinta de Marim, to oversee the Old Bar (at the time the only entrance from the sea to the Ria Formosa in the region between Fuseta eFaro) and protect the inhabitants from attacks by Moorish pirates. This last one was at once rich agricultural enterprise, given the abundance of water from its source.
The population grew and, in 1679, its importance justifies the building of the fortress of St. Lawrence to defend against the attacks of pirates. The first stone building was the Church of Our Lady of Solitude, built on an unknown date, and the second stone building was the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, begun in 1698.
Only in 1715, however, the first housing is allowed in masonry. Interestingly, the Marquis of Pombal, in a survey carried out in the Kingdom of the Algarve then asked for the identification of notables in each village. Olhão had no remarkable! It was a small town without aristocracy, consisting of only the seamen, who refused and administrative autonomy for many years refused to construct a simple brick house!
However, Olhão has been built in an egalitarian, free, and often in absentia and in rebellion to the established political power, represented mainly by two major neighboring cities - Faro and Tavira.
In 1765, D. Joseph finally gives the sailors of the Place de Olhão (then 850 dwellings) to separate the authorization of the Confraternity of the Holy Body of Faro, constituting themselves a confraternity his, which bear at their expense - Commitment Sea.
It was during the siege of Gibraltar, from 1779 to 1783, and later to Cadiz, that the seamen of this Place of Olhão had the opportunity to progress economically, with large profits selling the products of the earth - and fish products - either with or with ranchers besieged.
But it was the French invasion which gave the opportunity to assert itself politically Olhão. Probably due to its egalitarian spirit, without any compromises with the powers that be, the Olhanense staged in the nineteenth century the first successful uprising against the French occupation (in June 16, 1808, the day of the current City), which became a decisive fuse for the expulsion of the French in the Algarve.
This historic moment was crucial to the emancipation of Olhão, because the King John VI (1767-1826), then a refugee in Brazil, received the good news of the expulsion of the French through a handful of Olhanense who got to sea aboard the dinghy, "Good Success", a heroic journey, guided only by the stars, ocean currents and a rough map! The king acknowledged the initiative of the uprising and the heroism of the sea voyage, pushed through the small charter unknown Place of Olhão and the village in 1808, with the epithet of Vila de Olhão Restoration.
From 1826 to 1834 fighting fiercely for the Olhanense D. Against Peter D. Miguel, the town becoming one of the strongest bastions of liberalism in the south of the country, resisting tight sieges and violent attacks Miguelistas.
In 1842 is created in a village customs that, in about 20 years, becomes the most important customs post in the Algarve due to fishing and other products in the Algarve. For this reason in 1864 it created a harbormaster's office and, in 1875, the Judicial Court of Olhão.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the installation of the fish canning industry, a town of Olhão has rich and extremely productive. The first cannery was founded in 1881, founded by French Delory, and in 1919 there were already about 80 factories. Perhaps expression of this development was the fact that the Sporting Club Olhanense have been enshrined in the National Football Championship 1924.
Unfortunately, in the latter half of the twentieth century, the decline of the canning industry and their own impoverished fishing village, however, was a city in 1985.


The Cuisine is inspired by the region's finest fish and seafood. Olhão has a major fishing ports in the Algarve and a business activity of canned tuna and sardines.
The lakes, channels and islets of the County are abundant in shellfish such as clams, cockles and oysters, which influenced the eating habits of the population.
Currently, rural areas produce fresh fruits and vegetables of high quality which you can find on the market, in addition to fresh seafood, almonds and honey.
Typical dishes
Clams in Cataplana
Fish stew
Carapaus Alimos
Hake or whiting goosebumps
Xarém the broth from the stew

What to Visit:

In County
Canal de Olhao
Park of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve
Ria Formosa

In the Town of Fuseta
Barra da Fuseta
Pier Fuseta
Island Fuseta
Praia da Ilha da Fuseta
Praia dos Tesos
Salinas's Fuseta
Tower of Bias

In the Town of Moncarrapacho
St. Michael Chapel
Chapel of Santo Cristo
Cerro de San Miguel
Chapel of St. Sebastian Matinhos

In the Town of Olhão
Banks Tiles
Bandstand Olhão
Buildings Market
Chapel of Our Lady of Solitude
Stadium Olhanense
Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
Marina de Olhão
City Museum
Fishing port of Olhão

In the Town of Pechão
Chapel of Bones
Chalet Bela Mandil
Old Fountain
Stone Cheese dairy

In the Town of Quelfes
Cais da Ilha da Armona
Chalet Marim
Armona Island
Roman Bridge Quelfes
Armona Beach Pier
Praia da Ilha da Armona
Ribeira de Quatrim

Where to Stay:
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Camping Municipal Fuseta
Camping Olhão
Camping on the island of Armona
Colina Verde Aparthotel Golf
Hotel Rural Quinta dos Poetas
Green Rocks

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