São Bras de Alportel Travel Guide

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Cork oak harvesting 3

Cork oak harvesting 3

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The area that is now the municipality of São Brás de Alportel, in common with the Algarve as a whole, was inhabited in prehistoric times and in the days of the Romans. Birthplace of the Moorish poet Ibne Ammar in the 12th century, São Brás de Alportel was by the 16th century a small village with a Hermitage. From the 17th century onwards it was the summer residence of the bishops of the Algarve, who were drawn to it by its agreeable climate, and in the 19th century it became the crossroad of the routes linking Loulé to Tavira and Faro to Almodôver. The area's extensive plantations of cork oak provided a spring board for commercial and industrial development and for years São Brás de Alportel was the biggest cork producing centre in Portugal and the world. Its increasing population and economic importance led to the creation of the municipality in 1914. The gradual transfer of the cork manufacturing industry to the centre and north of Portugal has prompted the municipality in recent decades to diversify its sources of economic prosperity.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: Virtual Portugal

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