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Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo

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Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo is a civil parish in the municipality of Tavira, in the Portuguese Algarve. The population in 2011 was 1,809, in an area of 117.59 km².HistoryThe oldest record from this region, the Cartório Notarial de Tavira identified the organized settlement of Santa Catarina. The church was erected sometime in the 15th century, and compliment the style of the parochial church of the Misericórida in Tavira, which itself was built at the end of the first half of that century. It is assumed that the parish was established sometime prior to the erection of the church. The oldest ecclesiastical records, the births, baptisms, marriages and deaths recorded from this parish correspond to evident from the Torre do Tombo, and situate the parish around 1632.Fonte do Bispo was a toponomic name referenced as early as the 14th century. The parish was named from Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who perished in 307 AD, referring to a legend stating that an image of Catherine appeared at the fountain of the bishop : this gave rise to the regions name.Created from the ecclesiastical parish in 1835, this local authority's records were lost prior to 1886.GeographySanta Catarina is a small agglomeration of homes, situated on the edge of the Tavira-Loulé roadway, approximately 11km from the urban centre of Tavira. The famous Fonte do Bispo is located some distance from this road, along the rocky cliffs.The parish, is intimately associated with the region's soils. The southern part of the parish, south of the EN 270, is based in limestone, characterized by superficial deposits that extend from the sub-soils. To the north, and parallel the limestone areas, is a narrow strip of red sandstone, known as the grés de Silves, locally referred to as arneiro or pedra amoladeira. To the north of this zone is a mountainous schist zone, with heavily carved valleys and rounded ridges.
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