The palace in Praça D. Marcelino Franco first caught our eye when it was dilapidated and unloved, except by the storks who had created their home.
A few years later we were delighted to spot that works were in progress to restore this early 20th century palace to its former beauty. Fabulous to see, although at the time it seemed the storks had lost a home.
The palace was commissioned by Manuel de Jesus Belmarço, a Farense entrepreneur, who returned to the town of his birth having made his fortune in Brazil. The architect was Manuel Joaquim Norte Júnior who is now considered to be one of the most prolific and well regarded Portuguese architects of the 20th century, and even at the time of his commission was renowned for his wonderful residential and commercial buildings in Lisbon and elsewhere in Portugal. His work was so evocative of the period just take a look at this and also this website.
You may have spotted in the second link that Palácio Belmarço was not the only palace that he created in Faro. He also designed Palácio Fialho, and like the Belmarço the place is named after the man who commissioned it. In this case – João Júdice Fialho – a local and obviously very successful canning industrialist if the size of this palace is anything to go by! Palácio Fialho was the family home for 30ish years before becoming what it is today; a High School run by the diocese of the Algarve.
The Palácio Belmarço is no longer a residential home, but is now, and rather appropriately given its origins, the business headquarters of a modern day entrepreneur João Rodrigues.
But what makes me really happy is that the storks have returned. It is going to be a few years though before their nest has also returned to its previous glory!