São José Seminary

37° 0' 47.5" N, 7° 56' 8.1" W


Faro: Seat of the Bishopric
Until the construction of the Seminar
Many tribulations ...

Faro: Seat of the Bishopric

On 20 October 1539 is approved by Pope Paul III and the King João III the request of the Bishop of the Algarve D. Manuel de Sousa for the transfer of the Episcopal Headquarters of Silves to Faro. However, only 38 years later, on March 30, 1577 it has come to fruition. 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.

Until the construction of the Seminar

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

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 03/09/1759.

After a tumultuous time for the clergy and the formation of the same, the successor Bishop, D. André Teixeira Palha (1783-1786) published and regulated the ecclesiastical classes introducing them in his own palace. They had four disciplines: Dogmatic Theology, Moral, Canons and Ecclesiastical History. The last one was then in the bishopric of D. Jose Maria de Melo (1787-1789) replaced by Holy Scripture.

It was also D. Jose Maria de Melo that outlined the construction of the São José Seminary from the Palace D. Afonso de Castelo Branco building for the formation of the regular clergy. However, elected as Councillor of Queen D. Maria I and the chief inquisitor, was his successor D. Francisco Gomes de Avelar that completed the construction of this workshop extending the building to the south and opening it to January 8, 1797. The construction of this seminar counted with the work of the Genoese architect Francisco Xavier Fabri, brought from Italy by the bishop. There have been several financial difficulties in realizing this work. Thus, D. Francisco incorporates public lyrics lessons, that were held in the city without its own building, at the seminar.

Further south, there is a building that is part of the refectory of the seminary who saw their works completed only in 1806. Thus, the seminar consists of a north sector from the years 1580's and another south of the years 1790's with contemporary connection to the new Bishop's Palace by the first floor that crosses the top of Monsenhor Boto Street.

Many tribulations ...

In 1834, the liberal wins absolutism in a civil war between two brothers D. Miguel I (absolutist) and D. Pedro IV (liberal) and Portugal is cut off relations with the Vatican, which consequently stopped the ecclesiastical courses, but public classes continued. The January 3, 1851 (the Lyceum came to Portugal in 1836, however, in Faro it was not immediately official), the seminar also incorporates the institution of Faro National Lyceum, made official by decree of Queen Maria II.

However, the Holy See to restore diplomacy with Portugal and in 1853 Bishop D. Carlos Cristóvão Genuês Pereira reorganizes religious education.

From 1861 until 1866 this seminar has as his student Francisco Xavier de Ataíde Oliveira and little more than a decade before, had passed through here João de Deus Ramos.

In 1889, the train arrives Faro, which facilitates the movement of schoolboy and consequently increases the problem of lack of space. In order to provide the necessary conditions for teaching, in 1908, the National Lyceum of Faro is transferred to the building finished building, now Tomás Cabreira High School and later, in 1948 to the current João de Deus High School.

In 1911, with the establishment of the Republic, persecution of the clergy who came here and the abolition of the teaching of Christian doctrine, the seminar is confiscated, and fearing of royalist response, it is here installed Infantry Regiment 33. It was returned part of the building in 1933 (with the extinction of Infantry Regiment 33) and the remainder in 1940.

After April 25, 1974, many Portuguese then returned from former Portuguese colonies and the seminar was assigned to host them.

In 1986, the bishopric of D. Ernesto Costa Goncalves, restoration works in the building are completed is then re-opened the Seminar. Today, the seminary of São José continues his training program in accordance with national programs and directions of the Holy See


- 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
Universidade de Coimbra:
- O Poder real (Séc XIV-XVIII) Integração do absolutismo, por Abel Andrade, 1893
- Jesuítas.pt
- arqnet.pt – History portal
- diocese-algarve.pt
- seminário.diocese-algarve.pt
- radix.cultalg.pt (Ministry of Culture)
- elizabethan-era.org.uk
- www.educ.fc.ul.pt/docentes/opombo/hfe/lugares/osantigosliceu/faro.htm