Silves

Most of the town and nearly all its ancient buildings were destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. The impressive remains of the castle dates back to Moors and there is a impressive underground water reservoirs that are still used by the city today.

The biggest has the romantic name of “Cistern of the Enchanted Moorish Girl” and was said to be a principal factor in the fall of the town during its siege. The Museu Arqueológico has been constructed above the cistern and here a visitor will find exhibits of locally found objects included items from the Stone Age. As a reminder of the Romans occupation is the Ponte Romana, a fine strong bridge over the Rio Arade below the city walls and having been rebuilt from the original in the 15th Century. The city’s earlier 13th Century Cathedral was built on the site of a Mosque and has suffered considerable alteration over the centuries. To the southwest side of the town is a modern statue celebrating the siege of 1189 in an appropriately named square, Largo dos Mártires, where it is suggested that the remains of the defending Moors were buried. Just to the northeast of the city is fascinating 16th Century granite cross that is located beside the road to the north. The countryside around Silves was once the biggest orange growing area in Portugal and the local quality of this fruit still enjoys fame over other areas in Portugal and neighboring Spain. There has been a popular recent decision to site a new University in Silves to recreate its links with its past.

Hoppa offers private transfers in Silves.

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