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statue of Don Paio Peres Correia
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seville flag   CASTELO de SILVES   seville flag

Castelo de Silves

The Castle; Castelo de Silves, is probably the best preserved castle in the Algarve, built by the Moors around 800AD as the 'alcáçova', residence of the lord of the city, the outer walls of the castle are largely unchanged, inside little of the original Moorish buildings remain. Of most interest are the two water cisterns that look almost modern, the small one is of Roman origin and the lager Moorish. One, 'El Moura Encantada' is worth the effort to visit, (entrance is included in the castle entrance price), also inside the castle can be see the excavated remains of a Roman fortification over which the castle was built.

Silves has been occupied by the Romans, Moors and Portuguese during it's long history, being situated on the banks of the Rio Arade (Arade River), Silves provided the main access to the inland Algarve. During the occupation by the Moors the town was protected by strong defensive walls gates and towers, little of the defensive wall remains today, one of the towers of four gates 'Torreão da Porta da Cidade' (The turret of the City Gate) can still be visited, now housing the Municipal Library.
Outside the main castle entrance stands the statue of Don Paio Peres Correia, who finally took the castle from Moors in 1242, a previous attempt by Sancho 1 and an army of German Crusaders had failed to hold on to the castle resulting in his ordering it to be dismantled.

Castelo de Silves can clearly be seen as you approach the town, there is a large free car park to the south west. From the car park follow around the southern wall of the castle and up an incline up to the main square below the entrance, the slope from the square to the castle entrance is quite steep, but can be taken at a leisurely pace. There is ample opportunity to wander the cobbled streets or visit a restaurant in the square.

Silves Castle from the road into Silves
Back Silves
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