Silves is a city (about 11,000 inhabitants) and a community in the same-named county.
Coordinates: 37° 11′ N, 8° 26′ W
Silves is just off the N124-1 by the Rio Arade roughly 10 km north of the Atlantic. The river has been filled with sand in the 16th and 17th century. Big boats or even ships cannot frequent it any more.
In the urban area artefacts from different eras of the New Stone Age have been found.
Silves is the oldest town of the Algarve, the foundation of the place dates from about 1000 a. Chr. n. From the 4th century a. Chr. n. on the area was being settled by Phoenicians and Carthaginians under the name Cilpes.
Under Roman rule the place grew up to an important commercial city.
Starting from the year 713 Silves was under Moorish rule and was named Xelb. In the next centuries the urban area was conquered after heavy battles by turns by the Moors and by Christians.
The city is located beneath the castle and extends between olive, orange and lemon plantations.
A crusader reported in the 12th century that Silves was protected by the castle better and was due to the magnificent mosques more beautiful than Lisbon.
Today the culture, the architecture and the medical knowledge of the Moors are estimated and quite appreciated.
The Ponta Romana is the oldest bridge over the Rio Arade. Parts of the bridge are of Roman origin.
Numerous gastronomical premises tempt to linger. Banks, the post office, shops with handicraft and local culinary products round out the range.
The cosy pedestrian zone with many historic buildings and interesting shops.
Plane as well as very steep streets belong to the cityscape. Attention! When it rains, the cobblestone becomes very slippery.
The municipal building of Silves, seat of the urban, communal and district administration.