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SILVES > Algarve > Portugal

Silves, Algarve > Portugal
View of the city with the castle of Silves situated at the Summit

Silves is a city located in the interior of the western Algarve. Being one of the oldest cities of Portugal. There is a arqueológia station in Silves which confirms the presence of man since the Paleolithic times and the existence of various archaeological finds confirm that the whole area of the municipality of Silves has been inhabited in the Neolithic and age of metals. The main attraction of the city is the castle of Silves, being regarded as the most beautiful example of Islamic military architecture in Portugal.

Statue of King d. Sancho I at the entrance of the castle of Silves

Silves River
Silves is a city built a castle on the Hill by the river

The base of the city is landscaped with long pedestrian walks along the river.

Silves bridge over the rio Arade. The origin of the bridge has generated controversy regarding the origin. The construction of the bridge exists today began in the 15th century and was completed in 1716. According to historians, there is a possibility of Silves have had a Roman bridge, due to Silves to meet at the crossroads of Roman roads, and substantiated by the discovery of opus signinum near the bridge. Opus signinum is a building material used in ancient Rome. The distrust of the bridge was of medieval origin is linked to the fact that Sancho I don't mention the existence of any bridge when it conquered the city in 1149

buildings in Silves with building adapted to the slope of the streets
Buildings in Silves with building adapted to the slope of the streets

The city of Silves grew between the rio Arade and the top of the hill where it was built the castle of Silves. The streets near the River are flat, with long rides and gardens. In the Centre of the town towards the Castle, the streets are steep, with access to stairs and traditional stone sidewalk

Silves is the seat of the municipality with approximately 37 126 inhabitants, yet the town has a small population, with approximately 6300 inhabitants. Silves maintains the characteristics of the various peoples that inhabited the city over the millennia, with the castle in highlight, the stone-paved streets, ancient buildings, the Roman bridge crossing the river Arade, Muslim squares and other features that demonstrate the history of the city. During the Muslim domination, the city of Silves was known as Xelb, Xilb or al-Shilb

Cathedral of Silves

Gothic architecture on the main façade of the old cathedral of Silves, built between the 15th and the 18TH century

Manueline window on the side of the Church of Silves

Al_mutamid square

Al-Mutamid was one of the most important poets of al-Andalus. The square Al-Mutamid in Silves represents the various elements relevant to the Arab culture. In this square are represented excerpts from the famous poem "the Evocation Silves" written by Al-Mutamid and Ibn Ammâr

Al-Mutamid, espelho de água com inscrições Árabes