Once the capital of the Algarve, Silves has been an important centre since the Moors occupied it in the 11th century. Situated in what is now a major orange growing district the town is overlooked by the ruins of a large castle.

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Historical sites abound in Silves. The 13th century cathedral built on the site of a mosque stands near to the cathedral and in the valley below is the Ponte Romana, a strong roman bridge over the Rio Arade. Museum lovers must not miss the Museu Arqueologico. The museum is built over an underground reservoir, the Cistern of the Enchanted Moorish Girl which is still used by the town for its water supply.

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