Suggestions in this region 7 Regions ALGARVE ALGARVE SILVES

SILVES

An Arab bastion of warrior poets

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Situated in the Barlavento region of the Algarve in a transition area between the coastline and the mountains, the city rises like an amphitheatre in a hill with a castle and an ancient cathedral on top next to Arade river. Its history is related to Arab occupation, since Silves was the capital of the Algarve during the Arab ruling period. For many centuries, Silves was an important trading centre with relations to the entire Mediterranean. Al-Mu'tamid, the poet-king, ruled here from 1052 to 1088, when the city reached its highest splendour. Other poets and sages have also left their marks, namely bazaars, palaces and gardens. One of the biggest fortresses of the Iberian Peninsula was erected here that resisted three Portuguese sieges, one of them with the support of the Crusaders. The first Christian conquest dates back to 1189 under D. Sancho ruling, but the final take-over would only take place in 1249, when D. Afonso III led the Algarve conquer. This essentially agricultural council is fertile, presenting a humid soil of the irrigated fields of Arade and Enxerim. The region produces cereals, figs, almond, olive oil and especially citrus fruits. In the last decades, tourism sector has also developed, especially in Armação de Pêra, one of the busiest holiday resorts of the Algarve, however with a somewhat scrambling urban development.

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