São Bartolomeu de Messines

Situated in a long, fertile valley, some of Sao Bartolomeu's streets such as Rua do Remexido,. which is spanned by an arch - retain the charm of a typical Algarve town.

The poet João de Deus (1830-1896), whose reader "Cartilha Maternal" was widely used to teach reading and writing at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century,. was born here. The two houses in which he lived are indicated by plaques.

Main church - The original church was built in the 16th century, in a transitional style between Manueline and Renaissance. To this was added at the beginning of the 18th century a baroque facade. The interior is made up of three naves with round arches supported by Solomon pillars. The triumphal arch of the main chapel has non-twisted triple columns.

The two collateral chapels have rimmed Manueline vaults, while the arches of the side chapels proper already show the influence of the later Renaissance style.

There are fine gilded and cared retables and the base relief polychrome pediments with their baroque decoration, are worthy of attention. The elegant pulpit with its stone staircase is made of local marble and is a small masterpiece of baroque workmanship.

Other objects in the church, including the table and basin in the sacristy and the font, are fashioned of the same marble.

The church also boasts a fine collection of 16th to 18th century statues, pride of place in which goes to the pieces dedicated to the Virgin Mary: Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception). Nossa Senhora da Gloria (Our Lady of Glory) and Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Our Lady of Salvation)