January 22, 2011


We enjoyed Silves so much on our first visit to Portugal back in February 2010 that we have come back  twice now since we have returned to the Algarve this past December.

What is the appeal?  How about the dark red of mighty castle walls that loom over the city and the surrounding countryside.

This being the first thing you see while entering Silves peaks ones curiosity to see more.

Driving over the Arade River it seems as if you've stepped back in time, yet there is an appeal of where past merges with present.

As an example, we drive over a newer bridge that is only a few yards from a bridge dating back to the Medieval period, until only a few years ago it was this structure that connected Silves to the coast.

I have so much to share with you about this great spot in the Algarve, but in this post I am going to focus on the biggest castle in the Algarve and the most beautiful military monument to the Islamic period in Portugal.  The imposing Moorish "Castle of Silves"


It has its origins in the ramparts built around the town during the Moorish occupation, probably on the site of late Roman or Visagothic fortifications (4th /5th centuries).

Its eleven towers, two of which are barbicans - joined to the ramparts by a supporting arch that holds up the walk way - and thick walls enclose an area of approximately 39,370 feet.

Twice during the 1700’s the Algarve was rocked by heavy earthquakes which seriously damaged the castle. The first time was in 1722 and the second time was 1755. It was not until the start of the Second World War in 1940, which Portugal played no part in that the castle was restored.

The double entrance is the gateway defended by two towers and the opening of the `traitors' gate in the north facing walls still remains. Four of the towers have gothic doorways, vaulted halls and stones bearing the marks of medieval masons.

Inside the castles walls, nothing remains of the original Moorish buildings.

For only 2 euros per person, it is the ideal space for enjoying a trip into the Portuguese past and for appreciating the fabulous view over the city, countryside and the River Arade below, from what is surely the most beautiful vantage point in Silves. Having been classified as a national monument since 1910, Silves Castle is today the largest, most important and best conserved castle in the Algarve.

If you would like to see more pictures of this interesting castle just click on "Where's Debbie" and then on the album "Silves Castle"


  1. Thank you for taking us with you to this very imposing castle. I thoroughly enjoy visiting historical sites, and the fact that this one also offers beautiful views of the countryside would be a nice bonus. I'm sure I would enjoy a visit to this castle.

  2. Such gorgeous photos! I have never see a castle in real life, maybe I need to do a bit of traveling, outside of my own province, that is. Wow, there is real history here, unlike Canada, that country is very old! Thank you for a chance to see it.
    Hugs, Cindy

  3. Wonderful historic monument and gorgeous pictures. Enjoy your day! Kind regards.

  4. Sastles fascinating. It's so interesting to read about this one and see your great photos!

  5. Wonderful photos...I especially like the bridge.

    Thank you for stopping by my photo blog.

  6. Beautiful shots. I loved the architecture of the place.

  7. An interesting and unusual piece of history for this castle in both very ancient times and middle ages. The walls look substantial enough to last a long time to come.

  8. Seems a beautiful place to visit!
    Thanks for your fabulous shots;o)


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