Friday, July 11, 2008

Silves, Portugal # 3

Silves is the former capital of the Algarve and is of great historical importance as it was founded in Roman times and later became an important town when the Moors invaded and was an independently ruled Muslim principality. The town is situated on a hill above the Arade River. Silves Castle (Castelo dos Mouros, Moorish Castle) is located on the top of the hill and as you drive into Silves you get your first glimpse of the castle in between the buildings.
In the past few years a lot of the town has been regenerated and from what we saw this is an ongoing process.
There are lots of pretty little streets and everywhere is kept tidy and clean.
As you walk up past where I took the pictures of the storks you find a little square with a fountain, and a cafe and close by are some shops and restaurants. This becomes a very popular meeting place for locals during the evening.
As you walk through the archway from the corner of the square you are gradually walking up very steep roads past old churches to the entrance of the castle.
This giant statue of a knight guards the doorway to the castle. It depicts D. Sancho I, who reconquered Silves from the Moors for the first time in 1189. You cannot see from this picture but where people have continuously touched the foot it is really shiny.
They are doing a lot of renovation to grounds of the castle and I have to say that I think the restaurant that is being built in the middle of the grounds will actually detract from the charm of the old fortress walls. But I guess they need to make it profitable.
You can just see the reconstruction of a Moorish archway in the inner yard of the castle. It shows a fine example of the architecture of that period. That's My grandson and his friend in the picture.
The fortified walls of the castle are armed with strong battlements. They are built out of red sandstone of the region, the so called “grés vermelho de Silves” and dried mud.

Ben was not too keen on carrying his own drink but I think he looks quite cute in this rear view.
From the walls of the castle, visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the rural landscape surrounding Silves.

After our visit we walked back past a restaurant where we had enjoyed a meal a few evenings earlier.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour~ I took masses more photos of the different views around the battlements but if you have got this far I'm sure you will have seen enough!

2007: Witty Wednesday 12

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At 11/7/08 23:43, Anonymous Deborah said...

Such stunning photos Chris. You could almost be there!

At 12/7/08 03:24, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

It looks extremely inviting. I wish I could be there. I can't believe how clean it is.

At 12/7/08 09:51, Blogger ChrisB said...

deborah thank you for such a nice comment.

karmyn it really is a lovely little town. Would you believe one evening as we were having dinner a group walked past and beccy knew one of the ladies from her tennis club!

At 12/7/08 11:30, Blogger WT said...

Beautiful pictures Chris!! I saw this post earlier but saved it so I could take my time looking at them, I'm glad I did.

At 12/7/08 11:37, Blogger Beccy said...

I remember nearly wilting in the heat that day!

At 12/7/08 12:43, Blogger ChrisB said...

WT glad you enjoyed the photos.

beccy I think the fact that there was no shade and we were there in the middle of the day made the heat feel worse!

At 12/7/08 14:09, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What an interesting history through photos.

At 12/7/08 17:03, Blogger Alison said...

just beautiful, stunning...thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us!

At 12/7/08 21:39, Anonymous Robin said...

FANTASTIC travelogue! Portugal is beautiful through your eyes and you've given us a lovely portrait in pictures AND in words! I can only imagine based on those two things what it must've been like in person.

Thank you :).

At 14/7/08 09:14, Blogger Steffi said...

Great pictures again,Chris! i wish I could spend my holidays there too!


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