Heritage of the Algarve Any discerning visitor to the Algarve will come across a very rich heritage that dates back to the Moorish rule. For example, pretty decorative glazed tiles (“azulejos”) found on the facades of building walls and doorways and windows and the flat roofed, small windowed buildings.
Algarve chimneys are often quite intricate, with latticework designs and became a symbol of wealth. The larger and more intricate the design the higher the position you were meant to be in society, historically speaking.
The large number of Algarvian churches that have survived, date back to the 15th & 16th centuries, when King Manuel I reigned. The archictectural features, known as Manueline designs, were typically lavish and less overtly religious, with high ceilings and wide arch ways, and often themed in a nautical style, featuring fantastical creatures inspired from tales of the New World.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the Algarve which in turn has helped to keep the traditional Algarve crafts very much alive. Here you will find traditions passed on to the current generation such as basket making, weaving and lace making. The production of Pottery is present all over the Algarve but it is in the town of Porches that you will find many production houses producing and selling traditional glazed earthenware. Many handicraft markets and artesanato shops can be found in the Algarve where you can buy souvenirs for gifts or personal mementos to take home.
The Algarvians love to celebrate their past and throughout the year they host various festivals and carnivals. These are very charming and popular events attended by locals and tourists alike.