Guide to Silves
Welcome to Silves guide online a site dedicated to informing you about Silves whether it be for an up and coming holiday or for a holiday/permanent home. Most people look up there holiday destination either before or after they book the tickets and with that in mind we want you to be able to find out more about your destination before you step on the plane Silves is situated central to the Algarve and is just over 45 minutes drive from Faro airport.
Silves is situated inland some 15 minutes from the coast, more or less in the centre of the Algarve. It was once the capital of the whole region, which was still being referred to as the “Kingdom of the Algarve" in the 19th century. Its origin can be traced back as far as 1000 BC and there is evidence, which shows that it was already a notable town in Roman times. However, it became of even more importance during the Moorish occupation in the early 11th century when it was named "Xelb." It became the cultural centre of learning for the whole of the Iberian Peninsular and was ruled from Seville by Al-Mutamid. Many battles took place in and around Silves Castle between Christians and Muslims throughout the 12th and 13th centuries and in 1189 Portugal’s King Sancho I finally took back the city with the help of the Anglo-Norman Crusaders.
It continued to be an important city, especially in terms of trade, until the 15th century when the River Arade became silted up and the city lost its access to the sea. Silves sits on top of a hill with the remains of the castle overlooking the city and the River Arade. The castle is believed to have been cited on top of late Roman Visigothic fortifications dated from the 4th or 5th century and was started around 715 by the first Moorish occupants. There is also an old Roman Bridge (Ponte Romana), which crosses the river. The city’s Gothic Cathedral (Sé Velha) was built in the 13th century on the site of a Mosque with the Chapel of João do Rego built to the right of the main entrance in the 15th century. Silves is also built on top of one of the largest underground aquifers in southern Portugal, the Querença-Silves aquifer and is the largest orange growing areas in the country, a fruit that was introduced by the Moors.
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Silves Situated in Algarve Portugal.
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