Silves Travel Guide

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Castle Arch

Castle Arch

Kay Siddall

Whilst visiting the Algarve it is an absolute must to spend at least one day in the ancient capital of the Algarve - Silves.  This historic town contains one of the best castle fortifications in the region, dominating the surrounding skyline and countryside around it.  On approach to the town it cannot be missed, particularly stunning at night, when lit up. 

    A powerful citadel favoured by the Romans, further enhanced by the subsequent conquering Moors, to become the cultural centre of the region.  Vsited by poets, artists and scholars alike the area became known as the birthplace of Arabic poetry.  Reconquered by the Christian Crusaders the castle is steeped in myth and legend.

     Silves also boasts the most important (cathedral) in the Algarve, once being the home of the tomb of King João II until his mortal remains were transferred to Batalha Abbey in the 1400's.  Towering Gothic arches stand upon impressive pillars of varying size, to dominate its interior, whilst the Gothic and Baroque façade stare out across the white washed buildings of the town below.

   Many architectural digs can still be seen going on today, as the area is scrutinised for ancient relics, some dating back to Paleolitic man. 

  Stolling round this lovely town with its streets of calçada (cobblestones) is a joy, but beware of low flying storks going about their daily business of feathering their nests.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: Kay Siddall resident of Silves

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