|View of Albufeira|
|Photos by João Lelo from the Facebook page
Chaminés Algarvias – Uma Espécie em Vias de Extinção
(Algarve chimneys, a specialty on the way to extinction)
By the way for a bit more on the history of the chimneys and of Muslim-Christian relations in Portugal, you can read “Of mosques and chimneys in the Algarve”, a blog I wrote last year.
A legend, but is it history?
I have a little more history for you. According to the historian A R Disney (that really is his name) Christian monasteries and nunneries continued to function under Muslim rule in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, and he cites two centres of Christian pilgrimage in the Algarve which were respected by the Muslim authorities. In search of one of them, a sanctuary of the Virgin Mary, I took the bus to Faro, and was in luck, for prominently displayed in the small municipal museum is a modern tapestry telling the legend of Santa Maria de Faro. During the years of Muslim rule, Muslims and Christians quarrelled over an image of the Virgin, which for the sake of a quiet life the Christians were obliged to ditch in the harbour. No sooner was the deed done however, than to the distress of the local fishermen all fish disappeared from the sea. Realising their mistake, the Muslims dredged the image up and restored it to its rightful place, whereupon the fishermens’ nets were filled more bounteously than ever before. This is numbered amongst the miracles of the Virgin. Incidentally, Mary is venerated in Islam, indeed according to Wikipedia is mentioned more times in the Koran than in the New Testament.
Tapestry in Faro municipal museum. The panels show: a fight, throwing the statue into the sea, empty fishing nets, pulling the statue out of the sea, statue restored on the wall, full fishing nets
If I'm back next year I'll dig some more. And I hope I shall be, because I missed out on the museum of dried fruit in Loulé. A circumstance which when mentioned occasions unaccountable hilarity, but I intend to prove the scoffers wrong.