It is a city of Faro district and is county seat of 4 parishes, Albufeira and Olhos de Água; Ferreiras; Guia; Paderne. This municipality is constrained to the west and northwest by Silves, northeast and east by Loulé and south is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean.
It is unknown origins of Albufeira, but it is believed that this area was inhabited in prehistoric times and that the place where is the city, have been a town with a seaport.
A little history of Albufeira
Traces of archaeological excavations show that Albufeira had a Roman settlement that called it Baltum, which introduced an organizational and centralized administrative system and developed an intense commercial and agricultural activity, built aqueducts, roads and bridges, which still remain standing.
Albufeira is of Arab domination of the word “Al-buhera”, which means castle of the sea, since this region is very close to the ocean and the lagoon.
In the Arab occupation period, defensive fortifications were built that made Albufeira impenetrable, since this was one of the squares in the Arab village to retained longer in power. But the Arab population also quite developed agriculture in this region, where we were introduced new techniques and new cultures, namely, plows and fertilizers, as well as daughters to raise water from wells, new irrigation systems in the fields, including dams and taken making them in uncultivated areas in gardens and orchards.
When the pose of the throne by King Afonso III, much of the Algarve was under Christian power, reconquered by the Templars, Hospitallers and military orders, advancing quickly, but were always on the walls of Albufeira. Only after the capture of Faro, is that the situation of Albufeira became unsustainable. However, when they saw themselves surrounded by enemies Portuguese, Arabic square of Albufeira fell to Afonso III, who then donated it to the Order of Aviz. Away from your power center, the Moors took refuge in a cave called Cova of Xorino, little below the bounding rocks south of Albufeira.
It is one of the Algarvian cities suffering more by natural disasters, but a strong earthquake caused severe damage in Albufeira, where the sea invaded with waves of 10 meters that reached almost all the buildings, leaving only 27 rooms but getting quite ruined.
The old mosque adapted to Christian worship, now Church, was refuge point for the population, but this this broke down and collapsed causing 227 victims. Even after the earthquake, the Algarve continued to suffer concussions until almost a year later, however, was not regarded as an impediment to reconstruction, especially in the order of Bishop D. Francisco Gomes de Avelar.
In 1833, during the Civil War, Albufeira was surrounded and attacked by Remexido soldiers, an absolutist leader who caused the death of a large number of people and seriously damaged the village. Later in the nineteenth century, Albufeira has developed greatly due to fishing activities. Already in the first decades of the twentieth century, there was a large increase in exports of fish and nuts at this time Albufeira was five factories employing 700-800 people, especially fishermen’s wives.
Between 1930 and 1960, there were times of decay, in which fishing frames were ruined, factories closed, boats disappeared and homes were abandoned, the population was seen to decline and fishing just became a subsistence activity.
In the early 60s, there has been a tourist boom in Albufeira that was much sought after by domestic tourists and later by foreign tourists, including English.
And in the 80s, there is a huge urban outbreak, leading to the great development and growth to the east of the village of Albufeira, where they were transferred much of the administrative services, including the Town Hall.