… former capital of the Algarve, south of Portugal
Silves Ancient Origins
Silves, with origins dating back to Pre-History, likely originated from a Phoenician trading post. The city had a significant Muslim presence between the 8th and 13th centuries, becoming a notable cultural hub, hosting renowned poets like Ibn Caci and Al-Mutamid. During this period, the city was comparable in prestige to metropolises like Lisbon and Seville. Highlights from the Arab period include monuments like the Castle and the current Cathedral. In 1189, D. Sancho I, with the aid of the Crusaders, captured Silves. However, it was only between 1242 and 1246 that D. Paio Peres Correia definitively reclaimed Silves. In 1267, Silves was elevated to the capital of the Algarve under the reign of D. Afonso III. In the 15th century, the city prospered due to its port and participation in maritime explorations, such as the discovery of the Azores. However, subsequent centuries saw Silves’ decline, especially after the 1755 Earthquake. A resurgence occurred in the 19th century with the cork industry. In recent times, Silves stands out for its agriculture, production of oranges and wines, and tourism, remaining a favored destination for its rich history and culture.