© Paulo Moreira
A steep climb up to the highest point in Faro will bring the visitor to the Hermitage of Santo Antonio do Alte, a small church dedicated to St Anthony. The saint most usually referred to as St Anthony of Padua was actually born in Lisbon and for this reason he has a special place in Portuguese religious sentiment. In Portugal he is considered to be the patron saint of lost things, of unmarried men and women looking for a spouse and of the newly married.
The church building is believed to have been built in the 15th or 16th century, with significant alterations made in 18th century. It is believed that a watchtower dating back to 1355 stood on or near the site.
The church interior contains some interesting religious artwork and shows a number of Manueline influences. A highlight of any visit is a climb up the ancient church tower from which the visitor has panoramic views of the city of Faro and beyond.