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The City

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The castle and the bell towres of a multitude of churches. The river like a mirror reflecting the houses and gardens. The distinctive outline of roffs of the local "tesouro" (treasure) style. Broad vistas of sea and sand. These are among the charms of Tavira, a city of art and history and an essential port of call on any cultural tour of the Algarve.

The Castle
Only the walls remain. Reconstructed by King Dinis in the 13th century. Among the houses, some stretches of the defensive walls can be seen, as well as the arch called Arco da Misericórdia.
Church of Santa Maria do Castelo
Built on the site of a former mosque in the 13th century. Place where the sons of King João I were dubbed knights after the conquest of ceuta in North Africa. Destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. Gothic doorway, four small columns, capital with designs of plants. Cornice with corbelling. Gothic germinated windows in the façade. Arab type window in the clock tower.

Chancel with the tomb of Dom Paio Peres Correia and the seven Christian knights killed by the Moors. Chapel of the Gospel. Gothic structure. Manueline chapel devoted to Our Lord bearing His Cross (16th century). Gilded, carved woodwork. Decorative tiles (18th century). Valuable liturgical objects. 18th century baroque chalice and monstrance of St. Lawrence. Sacristy, lavabo, decorative tiles.

Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Altar piece (16th century) of the Flemish School. Polychrome decorative tiles (17th century).
Church of São José
Contains elements from previous Gothic and Manueline adaptations. Door with "rocaille"decorations. Octagonal design, the sides being of unequal lenght. Interesting ceiling. Chancel with barrel-vault. High altar, with curious "trompe-l´oeil"paintings. In an outbuilding, the former Chapel of São Brás, with a Manueline vault (16th century). Interesting chapel with a Gothic vault, of the Melos e Costa. Rose window, "Rocaille" altars. Valuable liturgical objects.

Church of Santo António
Part of a charmer monastery. Three sculptured groups representing scenes from the life od St. Anthony. Frescos on the vault covering the main altar. Gilded carved woodwork. Organ with gilded, carved woodwork.
Church of São Sebastião
Small museum of paintings. Works on the life and martyrdom of St. Sebastian and scenes from the life of Jesus and His Mother
Church of Nossa Senhora das Ondas
Probably built in the reign of King Manuel I, with later alterations (18th century). Connected with seafarers. Trapezoidal design. Wooden ceiling with decorative
paintings (17th century). Chancel, with unusual pulpit. Image of Our Lady of the Waves (17th century). In the Fishermen´s House, next to the church, precious standard of the Seafarers´Association, embroidered in gold and silver.

The Bridge
Roman origin. Was part of the Roman road linking Faro and Mértola. Reconstructed in the 17th century.
Church of São Paulo
Of 17th century origin. Renaissance style Galilee and portal. Bas relief of the Baptism of Jesus. Retable of the main altar. 15th and 16th century paintings on wood in the church and sacristy. Interesting decorative tiles in the floor of the transept.
Church of Carmo
18th century church. Remarkable gilded, carved woodwork covering the interior. Cupola with clerestory. Rich row of chairs for the choir (late 18th century).

Town Hall
Impressive building. Medieval arcades. At one corner, the sculptured head of a warrior, which tradition identifies with that of Dom Paio Peres Correia, who conquered the town from the Moors.
Fortress of São João de Tavira
Polygonal construction. First built in the 17th century, expanded in the 18th century.

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The City