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Silves, once a city of glittering minaret and bustling bazaars, was the Moorish capital of the Algarve. Its imposing red sandstone castle was the scene of horrific medieval battles between Islamic Moors and Christians.

Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land played an important role in the recon quest of the Algarve in the 13th century. A few of those who fell in the battle are entombed in the cathedral next to the castle. Both the castle and cathedral are open to visitors. Nearby is a small archaeological museum. The tumultuous city of yesteryears is today a quiet market town in the midst of the Algarve´s main citrus-growing area. Cork is processed locally. The town hosts two annual festivals, one celebrating oranges, the other beer. On the third Monday of each month there is a particularly lively open-air market.

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