Silves Castle

Silves Castle: A Time Traveler’s Dream Come True

Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves) is a majestic reminder of the grandeur of the art and architecture of the several cultures that once ruled this region. Elevated on a hill, the imposing castle overlooks the Silves Algarve region of Portugal.

Dating back to the 11th century, Silves Castle in Algarve was built by the Almoravid Arabs and today has become a popular recreation and leisure destination. Many consider this magnificent castle as the ideal place to reconnect with Portugal’s past, as well as enjoy panoramic views of the town, countryside, and Arade River below. This citadel enjoyed immense importance back in ancient eras, leading to it being classified as a national monument in 1910.

Eleven turrets and fortified curtain walls ring the interior red sandstone and dried mud walls of Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves). The towers and the guardhouse, that keep a wary eye on the visitors entering through the massive main gate, are striking elements of the citadel. But the wicket gate, or the ‘traitors’ gate’ is the one that draws the most attention, not just because of its name, but also because it is the most direct way to the beyond.

Some of the other more interesting features of Silves Castle in Algarve are its peaceful gardens and basement food stores. Visitors can also enter the old Arab silos through small ground level openings. Other famous features are the 10 meters high Moorish Cistern with its 4-vaulted ceilings duly supported on columns, and the 60 meters deep well, called the Cistern of the Dogs.

Silves Castle is the largest and best maintained fort in the Algarve today, and anyone interested in Portugal’s history should take the time to visit.

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