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  Silves City Silves Castle  

The river Arade was one of the main ways of com - munication with the Algarve's countryside since ancient times and it was thanks to its navigability that several people settled in Silves.
Among these people, the most important in the history of this town were the Arabs, who made Silves Islamic capital of the Algarve.
Known in the eleventh century for its development and prosperity, it was a cultural center where they lived the most brilliant poets, historians and jurists of the region. Precisely because of its importance, Silves Algarve was the first city to be conquered by the Christians in 1189, led by King Sancho I, losing it two years later for the Arabs to be definitively conquered in 1249. In 1266, D. Afonso III gave charter to Silves and orde - nou building a Catholic cathedral on the old mosque.
The city retains its importance in the following years and is preserved as the capital of the Algarve until the mid-sixteenth century, transfer the height of the bishopric seat to Faro, strongly motivated by the silting of the river Arade, which led to the economic decline of the city. With the 1755 earthquake, as well as the Napoleonic invasions and the Liberal Wars, Silves going through a difficult period, although in the nineteenth century back to thrive thanks to the cork industry. In this period we are witnessing population growth and a major urban renewal. Silves bet today cleverly turis mo in the cultural and economic development factor, attracting thousands of tourists for its historical center and for the events that are organized there.

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  Silves Silves  

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