São Bartolomeu de Messines

Village in the hinterland of the Algarve on the edge of the Serra
São Bartolomeu de Messines
  • District: Faro > Municipality: Silves > Parish: São Bartolomeu de Messines
  • Population: 8.430
  • Distances: Faro Airport 50 km, Lisbon Airport 232 km
  • Tourist Info: Silves Tourist Info

São Bartolomeu de Messines is a parish (freguesia) and village (vila) in the municipality (concelho) of Silves, situated in the interior of the Algarve.

The village, called simply Messines by the locals, is located on the IP1 that used to be the main link between the Algarve and Lisbon before the construction of the A2 motorway. The agricultural landscape lies in the transitional area between the fertile Barrocal and Serra range of hills.

Near Messines the waters of the river Arade are collected in two reservoirs, Barragem do Funcho and Barragem do Arade. These dams help guarantee the water supply of the Algarve even during long, hot summers.

The most famous son of Messines is the poet João de Deus de Nogueira Ramos (1830-98). He is not only well known for his lyrical oeuvre, but also for fighting against illiteracy in Portugal. His reading primer Caterna Maternal was one of the standard educational books of his time teaching children how to read and write. His sarcophagus can be seen in the Igreja de Santa Engrácia, the Portuguese pantheon in Lisbon.

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