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6 castles to visit in the Algarve

The Algarve is the land of beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters, but also of ancient kingdoms and medieval castles. For centuries, Romans, Phoenicians, Muslims and Christians were captivated by the beauty of the Algarve and its privileged geographical position, which led them to settle in the region, leaving an important cultural heritage that is part of the Algarve. The fortresses are vestiges of the rich cultural past of the Algarve, let's discover them?

Castle of Silves

The Castle of Silves is classified as a National Monument. It is the largest and most important in the Algarve and the second most visited monument, after the Fortress of Sagres. Built by the Arabs in the 11th century, it reflects the splendor of Islamic civilization at the time and the importance it had on the Algarve in its territory. It is located at the highest point of the city of Silves and is considered the best preserved Moorish castle in the country. The fort can be visited and you can still walk through its wide sandstone walls. The Castle offers extensive views over the Arade Valley and the town of Silves.

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Castle of Castro Marim

Built in the 13th century, during the reign of D. Dínis, it is considered one of the most significant monuments of the Middle Ages in the region. It is integrated into the Reserva Natural de Sapal de Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António where you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the river, the marsh, the mountains, the salt marshes and the beaches of the coast. Every year, in the Castle of Castro Marim, the medieval fair is to be visited at least once.

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Castle of Lagos

Its construction began in the time of the Romans, although it was a Muslim conquest that was enlarged and strengthened. Until 1755, it was the House of the Governors of the Algarve, when it was affected by the tsumani that followed the great earthquake. After its reconstruction, it was recognized as a National Monument.

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Castle of Paderne

It is one of the seven castles represented on the flag of Portugal. Built in the second half of the 12th century, during the Arab occupation, Paderne Castle, in the municipality of Albufeira, is one of the most significant examples of Muslim military architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. It is considered National Monument since 1971. This fortress has the distinction of being built in taipa in the Almohad period, during the last phase of the Muslim occupation of the Iberian peninsula.

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Castle of Loulé

The origin of the Castle of Loulé dates back to the ancient medieval city, Al'-Ulya, founded by the Muslims during the 8th century. In 1249, after the reconquest of D. Afonso III, the Moorish castle was rebuilt and Loulé became part of the Portuguese crown, as one of the main mercantile centers of the medieval Algarve.

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Fort of São João de Arade

Located in Ferragudo, Forte São João de Arade stands on two beaches, Angrinha beach and Grande beach, dominating the landscape of the mouth of the river Arade. Built on a solid rock, it is one of the few castles that were not destroyed during the earthquake of 1755. It is well preserved with a large walled garden. It also has a large residence with several sets of battlements in various planes.

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