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Faro is a city and municipality in southern Portugal. The city proper has 41,934 inhabitants and the entire municipality has 58,305. It is the seat of the district of Faro and capital of the Algarve region. The Algarve and Faro district cover the same territory.

The Ria Formosa lagoon attracted human occupants from the Palaeolithic age until the end of pre-history. During that time a settlement grew up Ossonoba which was an important town during the period of Roman occupation and, according to historians, the forerunner of present-day Faro. From the 3rd century onwards and during the Visigothic period it was the site of an Episcopal see.

With the advent of Moorish rule in the 8th century Ossonoba retained its status as the most important town in the southwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. In the 9th century it became the capital of a short-lived princedom and was fortified with a ring of defensive walls. At this time the name Santa Maria began to be used instead of Ossonoba. Later on the town was known as Harun (from a local Muslim chieftain), whence its current name, Faro. During the 500 years of Moorish rule there were some Jewish inhabitants in Faro who wrote copies of the Old Testament. After the Moorish period, the Moors were defeated by the forces of the Portuguese King Afonso III in 1272. With the decline of the importance of the city of Silves, Faro took over the role of administration of the Algarve area.

The Earl of Essex sacked the town in 1596 and seized the library of the Bishop of Faro. These books were later donated to the University of Oxford, becoming part of the Bodleian Library.

Lagos had become the capital of the historical province of Algarve in 1577 and remained so until 1756, the year following the destruction of much of the town by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The earthquake damaged several areas in the Algarve, where a tsunami dismantled some coastal fortresses and, in the lower levels, razed houses. Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by the sandy banks of Ria Formosa lagoon. Since then Faro has been the administrative seat of the region.

The city has a public university (the University of the Algarve), an international airport (Faro airport), a seaport, a marina, a railroad station and complete interregional bus services.

Its 30,000-seater stadium Estadio Algarve, shared by the neighboring cities of Faro and Loule, was one of the venues of the Euro 2004. It currently stands vacant, but locals hope that a football team will finally give use to the Stadium. The actual relevance of Louletano Desportos Clube (a club from the city of Loule) and Sporting Clube Farense (from Faro), are not enough to use such a big stadium; instead they use smaller municipal stadiums. The stadium is also used to host concerts, festivals and other events.

Faro airport is not too far away from the city itself. In recent years the numbers of visitors travelling through the airport has increased as more and more low-cost airlines compete to offer cheap flights to the Algarve. The transport facilities to and from Faro airport with the centre of Faro include taxicabs and a bus line.

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How to get to Faro

The conference will be held at the Auditorium of the University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, in Faro.

Faro is located 280 km south of Lisbon and is connected by high-way to Lisbon and Seville (200 Km). Faro can also be reached by railway and plane.
Faro international Airport is served by several major airlines. The distance between the Faro International Airport and the city of Faro is about 5 Km. To get to the city a taxi will cost you from 8 to 10 .

The city of Faro is the provincial capital of the Algarve region located in the south end of Portugal, with a population of 60.000.
If coming from Lisbon (Lisbon International Airport), trains and buses will take from 3 to 4 hours to reach your destiny. Both Faro train station and Faro bus station are located at the city centre.

Trains ("Alfa-Pendular" or "Inter-cidades" are fastest trains)


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