It has proved to be surprisingly more difficult to explore the past in Faro than Olhão, perhaps because Faro mistakenly has always been considered ‘uninteresting’ for tourists. There are very few Faro photographs in our Algarvian library, and I’ve not had any success online yet. However I found sufficient for a post today, including the one that started this all of today. A picture of a steam train crossing the marina.

If you are visiting Faro you will be able to find this ‘then’ picture yourself. It is opposite the hotel by the marina. There are a few tile pictures there, all in need of a little bit of love and attention. All of the other then photographs are taken from a 1960’s Algarve tourist brochure, and they only photographed the Cidade Velha! If we start outside the main gate. The first thing I spotted is that a Stork nest is in the same place 50 years later! The only changes seem to be that the trees are bigger and there are more nests on the gate in 2016.

Once inside the photographer seems to only have eyes for the cathedral but they did manage one shot inside the convent. The Convent closed in the 1830s and in the years following the building went through a variety of uses including life as a cork factory. In 1960 it was purchased by Faro council to house the library and town museum and so this photograph may have been taken around that time. Today the library is elsewhere but the museum remains. I can’t recall if the well is still there, it certainly prettier these days with the box hedge!

So onto the 13th century cathedral which like so many churches in the Algarve was built on top of the remains of a mosque. The mosque was built when the Moors ruled the Algarve, and it would seem it was built in or on top of a Roman temple. I find it fascinating how religions reuse buildings of other religions. I haven’t yet gone out with my photographs of the past in Faro, so my photographs of the present day are not replica shots. However hopefully they give you a hint of how things have not really changed inside the Cidade Velha.

On our return to Portugal I’ll be visiting the local libraries to see if I can find more old photographs and then enjoying the challenge of matching modern day views with those of the past. In the meanwhile if you have some then and now photographs in Portugal or from elsewhere then why not join in! I’m thinking, depending on what you think and the response, of making this a regular event. If it takes off there will be a proper ‘link up’ but for now as we are only just starting simply leave a link back to your post in the comments below. Not forgetting of course the tag ‘Past meets Present‘. If you have no photographs, then no worries perhaps another month. Do though let me know what you think of the idea and if you have time why not visit last month’s past meets present, or if you have already visited then try Six Word Saturday as this post happens to be that too!

Within the Cidade Velha

Not yet worked out exactly where this is, apart from the fact it is in Cidade Velha