Bishop's Palace

37° 0' 49.8" N, 7° 56' 6" W


Faro: Seat of the Bishopric
Construction and Reconstruction of the Bishop's Palace

Faro: Seat of the Bishopric

On 20 October 1539, Pope Paul III and the King João III approved the request of the Bishop of Algarve (D. Manuel de Sousa) for the transfer of the Episcopal Headquarters from Silves to Faro. However, the transfer was completed 38 years later, on March 30, 1577. 8 years after the transference, ends the construction of an episcopal palace, now known as the Palace D. Afonso de Castelo Branco for being the first bishop to live here - the northern part of the São José (S. Joseph) Seminary.

Construction and Reconstruction of the Bishop's Palace

In 1596, English troops and the Earl of Essex Robert Devereux, landed near Faro sacking cities, stealing gems such as the library of the Episcopal Palace and also a Pentateuch, the first book printed in Portugal (in Faro). For lack of interest in these works, the Earl gave them to his friend Thomas Bodley, now included in Bodleyana Library in Oxford. In this drawing he also set fire to the city leaving it virtually reduced to rubble, including the bishop's palace.

Two years later the new Bishop's Palace was built at the behest of the then Bishop Fernando Martins Mascarenhas.

Next, in the years 1670's, Bishop Francisco Barreto II extends the facilities and in the following bishopric, D. Simão da Gama, the expansion and renovation continued.

In 1741, the former palace shall also serve as a boarding school for students of the College São Tiago Maior, this college belonging to the Jesuits whom the Holy See had given the teaching of the clergy. A few years later, with D. José I (King Joseph I) on the throne and Sebastião de Melo in government, the Jesuits were expelled from the country in a decree signed by the king on 03/sep/1759.

As a result of the 1755 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the palace suffered enough damage then being rebuilt by Bishop Friar Lourenço de Santa Maria. Some years later, in 1786, the bishopric of D. André Teixeira Palha, is created the altarpiece in the chapel of the palace.

The new Bishop's Palace is connected internally with the São José Seminary at first floor through an arc that crosses the top of Monsenhor Boto Street.


- Faro edificações notáveis – Francisco Lameira, Câmara Municipal de Faro, 1995
- Memória de Portugal, o milénio português de Roberto Carneiro e Artur Teodoro de Matos, 2001
- O Algarve - J.Mimoso Barreto, 1972
- Jesuí
- – the history portal
- seminá
- (Ministério da Cultura)