Arco da Vila – Gateway to Faro’s Old City:
Most tourists visiting the Old City of Faro will no doubt have walked through Arco da Vila at the south end of the Jardim Manuel Bivar. This arched gateway is a national monument which leads into the Old City of Faro.
Arco da Vila was built by the architect Francisco Xavier Fabri for Bishop Dom Francisco Gomes do Avelar in the 19th century. It sits on the site of a medieval castle gate. It was Dom Francisco who took upon himself to re-design the city that was in decline. In Largo da Se is a large state of Dom Francisco.
The portico is originally Moorish and if you look at its roof you’ll see the different layers Moorish and Roman architecture. The brick vaulting makes the roof very strong.
On top of the arch stands a statue of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of Faro, watching over the gate and right above the gateway is a bell tower.