Situated in a lovely square in the charming Silves town, this monument is considered to be the main gothic monument in the Algarve.
The origins of the monument are unknown. Documents affirm that in 1189, when Silves was taken by the Christian troops to the Moors, the Cathedral was built over the ancient Mosque, yet there are no material vestiges of this fact.
The architectonic style that has been maintained until nowadays is markedly Gothic, beginning in the 13th century and kept over long periods of construction.
In fact, several earthquakes that started damaging the still unfinished monument, which was restored in the 15th century in a simple type of Gothic style.
Afterwards other restoration works took place, namely in the 18th century (in the sequence of the big earthquake of 1755) and in the 20th century with the heritage preservation works when some annexes built in other architectonic periods were destroyed, with the goal to give back to the building its original Gothic purity.
The Cathedral presents a plant in latin cross, a nave with about 18 meters height, two lateral naves with golden sculpted altars dated from the Baroque period.
The famous central Portal is formed by an ogival arch with six archivolts.
In the south façade is another Portal in Baroque style dated from 1781, designated as “porta do Sol” (Sun’s Door).
The interior of the Cathedral contains the tombstone of the Portuguese king D. João the 2nd (whose body was later transferred to the wonderful Batalha Monastery), as well as several tombs of bishops and noble families of Silves.
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