The Castle, Tavira
Built and rebuilt in several periods, the experts find in this castle and walls signs from the Muslim times and christian changes.
Destroyed by 1755 earthquake, most of the walls were dismantled, but there are still disperse elements (walls and doors) in the centre of town.
Located near the center of the old town very little remains of the castle that was rebuilt by King Dennis in the 13th century. There are a few walls and a lovely series of urban gardens around the wall of the castle.
The medieval castle, out from which the city walls were built, has foundation walls dating back to the Neolithic period, but the fortress has been rebuilt by the Phoenicians (8th century BC), the Moors (between the 8th and 13th century), by order of King Dinis in 1293, and in the 17th century sections needed to be rebuilt again. Today some wall towers and the castle still remain, which serves as a scenery to a small garden, and the view over the walls across Tavira are wonderful.
It is not known when the first castle at this site was built. Some sources say a fortress here was already being rebuilt by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC. The present castle however probably dates back to the 11th century.
There was a castle here when the town was taken from the Moors in 1242 by King Paio Peres Correia during the Reconquest. In 1244 the castle was granted, by King Sancho II, to the Order of the Knights of Santiago who renounced this donation 30 years later. In 1293 King Dinis ordered the remodelling and recontruction of Tavira Castle because he recognized the importance of Tavira as a base of defense against piracy. In the 1755 earthquake the castle and town suffered heavily.
Tavira Castle was a small, roughly rectangular, castle. It now consists of remains of two square towers, one octagonal tower and walls on three sides. None of the towers possess the characteristics of a keep although there surely must have been one. Its interior is now used a small garden. You can climb the walls and the towers. The castle can be visited, for free, during the daytime.
The 'castle' is just a couple of walls that are still standing, no entrance fee and none worth it but the gardens are nice for a shady spot and the view looks out towrds the sea. The toilets here were absolutely horrible. The view from the top of the castle, the more observant will note a sky line in Algarve with no high rises in this.
Free entrance but only the walls are preserve, the best as normal are the views. We share the visit with a group of kids with their 3 kings hat ;-)
Not much is left of the old (13th century) Tavira castle: just the walls. But there is a nice park with lots of colourful flowers and it is a pleasant walk short walk to get there.