Castelo de Tavira.
Posted by: greysman
N 37° 07.521 W 007° 39.085
29S E 619797 N 4109629
Quick Description: This small castle is perched on a hill above Rua da Liberdade, the main thoroughfare running south-west away from the Rio Gilão.
Location: Faro, Portugal
Date Posted: 6/2/2011 1:49:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMBMFX
A small castle with the usual castellated walls with reinforced towers, and gateways, enclosing an area which is now a garden. It was most probably the 'keep' of a much larger enclosure which covered much of the hill top, approximately 5 hectares, now occupied by the Igreja and the convent. Other remaining outworks can be seen alongside Rua da Belafria and Rua António Viegas.
The coordinates will take you to the entrance gate off the square at the rear of the Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo from where you enter the garden laid out within the walls. Another way up to the castle is from Rua da Liberdade, coming from Praça da República look for the narrow entry on the right and climb the steep steps.
The most striking remaining feature of the castle is the octagonal watch tower at the south-east angle. This can be climbed and from where the are great views over Tavira and beyond.
It is believed that a wall from a Neolithic period was the basis of the building of the first fortress of Tavira. The fortress was later on reinforced or rebuilt by the Phoenicians in the C8th BC and later by the Moors between the C8th and C13th AD. When Tavira was reconquered from the Moors in c.1242 the castle was given to the Order of Santiago but thirty years later they rejected the donation. King Dinis then instigated the remodelling and reconstruction of the castle and fortress in 1293. In the C17th century some sections of the fortress needed further rebuilding. Nowadays some of the wall towers and the castle site still remain which serve as a backdrop to a small garden. (This taken from an information plaque in the castle grounds)
The website will give much more information.
Accessibility: Full access
Condition: Partly ruined
Admission Charge?: no
Website: [Web Link]