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Did you know that...The word Algarve

The word Algarve comes from Al Gharb?

Al Gharb was the region southwest of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule since 711, when the Arab invasions in the Peninsula.

Al Garbe derives from an Arabic expression, Gharb, which means West. Accordingly, the Al Garbe toponym refers to the region to the west of Al Andalus, or simply to the territory to the west.

It was the last region of Portugal rescued from the Moors in the Christian Reconquest. D. Sancho I, whose reign extended from 1185 and 1211, reaches to the Algarve, but is forced to withdraw. The conquest of this territory is consummated in the reign of Afonso III, in 1249, with the taking of Silves, with troops commanded by Don Palo Peres Correia.

It is from D. Afonso III that ultimately was defined the boundaries of Portugal, the Algarve was finally an integral part of the Portuguese kingdom.

The strong and prolonged Arab domination in the region of Algarve left deep marks of their culture. We can find traces Muslims in linguistic heritage, artistic and architectural, agriculture, etc. Noteworthy is the Palace of Balconies in Silves, outstanding example of Moorish architecture in Portugal.

Ribeira Brava is...

Ribeira Brava (Wild River) is named after its river; when it rains heavily in the mountains, waters rapidly run down to sea. It is a small town on the southwestern coast of the island with steep valleys on either side and is a very pleasant tourist stop. In between these valleys is the Madeira Sports centre with excellent facilities, which attract all types of sports and athletics.

Visit the local church “Igreja de São Bento“, considered over the years as the best preserved and presented regional monument containing valuable paintings dating back to the 16th century. This church is open to the public.

By the sea but protected from the Atlantic waves for safe swimming is a man-made black sandy beach, children’s swimming pool and promenade with cafes, snack bar and restaurants where you can spend a quiet and enjoyable afternoon. Climb the spiral staircase at the east end of the town for a spectacular view, or walk through the adjacent rock tunnel to the fishing harbour.

 

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