Algarve’s new “look” – a short history of architecture (Part 3)

Algarve’s new “look” - a short history of architecture (Part 3)

Welcome back and thank you for following us in our journey through time; today we finally discover Algarve’s new “look” – a short history of architecture has taken us this far.

Last time, we promised we would talk about the Baroque and the Rococo, the prominent European styles of the 17th and 18th century. Reminiscent of the German style predominant even today in that part of the Western Europe, the Baroque proposed a daring new style based on gilded and carved woodwork, both for the interior and the exterior design of buildings. The exterior may not have looked that impressive, but the overall image of the Baroque era has its charm – though it displayed a rather poignant tendency for… stuffiness.

… Though if we are to talk about stuffiness and a penchant for over-ornamented objects, buildings and furniture, Rococo is the subject! In the Algarve, searching for the Baroque, you will encounter the Almacil construction of St Lawrence’s Church. As for Rococo, the Palace of Estoi, built in the 18th century, is the most convincing example.

Alas, we finally alight in the modern age. After the last “outburst” of Romanticism in the early 19th century, Europe, the entire world and Portugal with it started to embrace the plainer, modest and unspectacular architectural style. The practical side of the late-19th century and 20th century constructions has to be given some credit, although the style can be found somewhat lacking (or is downright absent).

As for today, the postmodern and (some would say) post-postmodern style in the Algarve is represented by hotel complexes, shopping malls and spas and the ever-present blocks of flats. Still, the architectural landscape is still evolving, as Western immigrants and tourists leave their mark in this cosmopolitan side of Portugal.

Hoping you have enjoyed this whirlwind tour through the history of Portuguese architecture, we once again encourage you to visit the Algarve for an amazing experience!